It wasn’t all that long ago that GlaxoSmithKline was considering a spinoff for its HIV drugs division, ViiV Healthcare. Now, though, the company is hanging on tight to that business–and building it up, too.
Friday, the British pharma giant announced an agreement to buy up Bristol-Myers Squibb’s pipeline of HIV meds, a deal that could end up tallying nearly $1.5 billion when all is said and done. With the Bristol-Myers candidates will come fostemsavir, a Phase III compound and FDA-designated breakthrough therapy.
The move reinforces Glaxo’s commitment to ViiV, which hauled in £622 million ($927 million) in Q3 to post a 67% year-over-year sales surge. And it’s those kinds of sales performances–propelled by fast-growing newcomers Tivicay and Triumeq–that prompted the drugmaker to hang onto ViiV after weighing a divestment. With struggling respiratory behemoth Advair weighing down Glaxo’s pharma sales–and a new focus on driving volume in low-margin businesses vaccines and consumer health–ViiV’s contributions have recently become all the more important.
Shareholders gave “very strong feedback that we should retain that business,” GSK CEO Andrew Witty told shareholders on the company’s Q3 earnings call, pointing out that over the course of that period expectations for the business grew “almost exponentially.”
“We took the decision not to separate it because we believed we were the best owners,” he said. “… And I think we’ve been vindicated since.”
And now, HIV leader Gilead may have to watch its back. Glaxo is working to steal market share from its Big Biotech rival with drugs that simplify treatment regimes–like the three-in-one cocktail Triumeq–with an eye on more than $6 billion in sales by 2020. And in July, ViiV CEO Dominique Limet told Bloomberg that the company was “developing a new generation of products that will be even more competitive with Gilead’s portfolio.”
By Carly Helfand
Source: Fierce Pharma
A monkeypox outbreak is emerging in the U.S. and Europe, and at least one country is amping up countermeasure preparedness. Bavarian Nordic has secured a contract with an unnamed European country to supply its smallpox vaccine, called Imvanex in Europe, in response to the emergence of monkeypox cases, the Danish company said Thursday.
Moderna’s recent chief financial officer debacle—in which Jorge Gomez departed on his second day on the job—raised questions about the company’s hiring process given its rush to global biopharma prominence. The most obvious one: How was it possible for Gomez to be hired when he was under investigation by his previous employer, Dentsply Sirona of Charlotte, N.C.
Merck & Co. is plucking a cancer project from the branch of Chinese-based Kelun Pharmaceutical for up to $1.4 billion, but details from the New Jersey-based Big Pharma have been hard to come by. The deal, first disclosed Monday on the Shenzhen stock exchange, has Merck handing over $47 million in upfront cash in exchange for ex-China rights to a “macromolecular tumor project.”