GLAXO SMITHKLINE SELLS RIGHTS TO NOVARTIS AG OF DRUG USED IN TREATING AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

LONDON—  GlaxoSmithKline PLC is selling its remaining rights to a drug for use in treating autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, to Novartis  AG for up to $1 billion, plus royalties.

Glaxo said on Friday that Novartis will own rights to ofatumumab, as the drug is known, in all indications. The Swiss company will also pay royalties of up to 12% to Glaxo on any future net sales of the drug related to autoimmune indications. Novartis had previously bought the rights to the drug as a cancer treatment, for which it is marketed as Arzerra.

The sale follows the previously agreed $20 billion asset swap  between the two pharmaceutical groups, which they completed earlier this year.

The Novartis transaction involved Glaxo trading its oncology franchise for the Swiss company’s vaccines business and forming a joint venture on consumer health care, thereby reducing Glaxo’s reliance on innovative medicines .

“We continue to focus on progressing our pipeline in core therapy areas including HIV, oncology, vaccines, cardiovascular, immuno-inflammation and respiratory diseases,” said GSK Chief Strategy Officer David Redfern.

News Courtesy: Wall Street Journal