Novartis considers selling its $5B+ ophthalmology and respiratory units — report – Endpoints News


As No­var­tis has been fo­cus­ing its core pipeline, and spin­ning off its gener­ics arm San­doz, the com­pa­ny may be look­ing to sell even more.
Ac­cord­ing to a re­port from Bloomberg to­day, the Swiss phar­ma is con­sid­er­ing the sale of some of its “non-core” as­sets to raise funds to in­vest in “cut­ting-edge med­i­cines,” peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said.
The re­port elab­o­rates that No­var­tis is in the ear­ly phas­es of “con­sid­er­ing op­tions” for its res­pi­ra­to­ry and oph­thal­mol­o­gy units, which wouldn’t close un­til af­ter San­doz spins out, with anony­mous sources telling the pub­li­ca­tion that pri­vate eq­ui­ty firms could spend up to $5 bil­lion on the oph­thal­mol­o­gy unit alone, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg.
No­var­tis’ oph­thal­mol­o­gy unit, which down­sized in 2019 with the spin­out of Al­con’s eye busi­ness, shift­ed its fo­cus to de­vel­op­ing com­pounds to pro­tect and re­store vi­sion, with its re­search pri­or­i­ties in­clud­ing dis­eases such as glau­co­ma and age-re­lat­ed mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion. For the res­pi­ra­to­ry unit, No­var­tis is de­vel­op­ing ther­a­pies to counter dis­eases such as COPD and asth­ma.
End­points News reached out to No­var­tis but did not re­ceive a com­ment by press time.
If this move is go­ing for­ward, it comes at a time when No­var­tis is mak­ing some ma­jor changes. The com­pa­ny de­cid­ed to spin out its gener­ic arm, San­doz, in­to a sep­a­rate com­pa­ny, which No­var­tis plans to com­plete in the sec­ond half of next year.
Mean­while, any move on the two units will most like­ly hap­pen af­ter the San­doz spin­out is com­plet­ed next year.
This would not be the first time that No­var­tis has spun off some­thing re­lat­ed to the eye. In 2019, the phar­ma spun off its eye care unit Al­con in­to its own busi­ness, which No­var­tis orig­i­nal­ly put up $770 mil­lion to ac­quire. Al­con has since gone on to char­ter its own path and even take a swing at the dry eye mar­ket ear­li­er this year.
If No­var­tis does sell these two units, the sales would come on the back of a ma­jor re­struc­tur­ing, which may en­act $1 bil­lion in cuts and bring the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and on­col­o­gy units un­der one roof.
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