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    Big changes at Novartis include GSK asset swap

    euronews (in English)

    by euronews (in English)

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    Swiss drugmaker Novartis has announced a major shake-up which includes swapping assets with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline and selling its animal medicines division.

    Novartis said it was simplifying its business and increasing its focus on anti-cancer medicines, which bring in higher profit.

    The overhaul is partly in reaction to cut-backs on health spending by cash-strapped governments.

    Novartis said it had agreed to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s oncology products for $14.5 billion (10.4 billion euros), while selling to GSK its vaccines, excluding flu, for $7.1 billion (5.14 billion euros) plus royalties and creating a joint venture with GSK in consumer healthcare.

    Novartis has agreed to sell its animal health arm to Eli Lilly for approximately $5.4 billion (3.9 billion euros).

    This is the latest in a flurry of deals among global pharmaceuticals firms – which include Pfizer’s reported interest in AstraZeneca.

    Large companies are refocusing, as smaller ones seek greater scale.