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GSK sells off anticoagulants for £700m

South Africa-based Aspen buys rights to Arixtra and Fraxiparine
GSK Arixtra Fraxiparine

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) continues its run of divestments with the sale of two anticoagulants and a manufacturing site to South Africa-based pharma company The Aspen Group.

Aspen paid £700m to acquire rights to Arixtra (dondaparinux) and Fraxiparine (nadroparin) as well as the Notre-Dame de Bondeville site in France where GSK manufactures them. The deal also includes £100m for existing inventory of the products.

Aspen will own rights to the drugs in all regions, except China, India and Pakistan. In Indonesia, GSK will distribute and market the brands under licence from Aspen.

Arixtra is approved to treat and prevent blood clots, including pulmonary embolism and deep-vein thrombosis, and took in peak sales of £301m in 2010.

However, revenues have declined since the drug lost patient protection at the end of 2011, and GSK will be looking to cash in on a product that has already fulfilled its main potential.

Fraxiparine is also used to treat blood clots, and has consistently achieved revenues of more than £200m for the last few years. Although it lost patent protection back in 2004, the biologic drug has still not faced sales competition with a biosimilar version yet to reach market.

David Redfern, GSK's chief strategy officer, explained the deal was part of wider GSK plans to focus on a portfolio of new products and late-stage investigational drugs with growth potential.

He said: “Arixtra and Fraxiparine are established products that have consistently delivered strong revenues. However, our focus is on delivering an unprecedented late-stage pipeline and preparing for the launch of approved medicines.”

Redfern also discussed the future of GSK employees currently working on these products and at the Notre-Dame de Bondeville factory.

“Aspen is a long-term partner of GSK and will be able to dedicate the resources that these products deserve to take them forward,” he said. “Importantly, we are pleased to be able to preserve the vast majority of jobs through this agreement.”

GSK's refocusing plans also include the sale of big-selling consumer products Lucozade and Ribena to a Japanese firm for £1.35bn, as well as major divestment deals with Prestige Brand Holdings and Omega.

It also agreed a £172m deal last year with Aspen to divest 25 'classic' brands in Australia.

Article by
Thomas Meek

1st October 2013

From: Sales

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