Novartis AG said Monday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire clinical-stage gene therapy group AveXis Inc. for $8.7 billion in cash, or $218 per share.
Novartis, a Swiss-based pharmaceutical group, said the deal has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies.
In acquiring AveXis, Novartis said it hopes to expand its role as a leader in gene therapy and neuroscience. Assuming completion by the middle of this year, the Swiss group said the deal would be slightly negative to its core operating income in 2018 and 2019, mainly due to research and development investments. But by 2020, Novartis expects the acquisition to “strongly contribute” to core operating income and earnings per share owing to an expected boost in sales.
By Barbara Kollmeyer
Colorcon Ventures, the corporate venture fund of Colorcon Inc., has invested in VeriSIM Life, a San Francisco-based startup with a digital bio-simulation platform that accelerates drug development and reduces animal testing.
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Sanofi has ended a long-running alliance with Sangamo Therapeutics to develop genetic medicines for inherited blood disorders, among them an experimental sickle cell disease therapy that is in early clinical testing.
The two have been developing complex, personalized treatments, led by a sickle cell drug known as SAR445136. But Sanofi is now more interested in off-the-shelf approaches, which are meant to be more convenient.