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Baxter names biopharma spin-off Baxalta

Will separate from medical technology business
Baxter building

Baxter International has named the biopharmaceutical business it intends to spin out next year as Baxalta.

In March, Baxter confirmed its intention to separate its biopharma and medical technology businesses in mid-2015 via a separate listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), following a trend among life science companies to divest business units that are not part of their core operations.

The move followed similar transactions involving Abbott Laboratories - which spun off its research-based pharmaceuticals business as AbbVie last year, as well as the sale of business units at Pfizer, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Fresenius.

Baxalta - a combination of Baxter and 'alta', a derivative of the Latin world 'altus' which means high or profound - will focus on haemophilia drugs, immunology products and vaccines while Baxter will focus on drug delivery systems and dialysis and hospital products.

"The naming of Baxalta is the latest milestone on our journey to becoming a separate, independent company," said Ludwig Hantson, who is currently president of Baxter BioScience and will be chief executive of Baxalta after the separation.

The biopharma unit had revenues of more than $6bn last year, with haemophilia products Advate, Rixubis and Feiba achieving sales of $3.4bn, plasma-derived biotherapeutics like Gammagard adding another $2.1bn and haematology/oncology products making up the remainder.

The company also has ambitions to enter the biosimilars category on the back of the acquisitions of Coherus Biosciences and Momenta, and says these and other new products in the pipeline such as long-acting haemophilia A therapy BAX 855 have the potential to boost sales by another $3bn or more in the coming years.

"Baxalta's broad pipeline is built on a legacy of innovation in bleeding disorders and immunology, and is expanding to address unmet medical needs in niche areas of oncology, as well as technology platforms such as gene therapy," said the company in a statement.

The company initiated trials of its BAX 835 gene therapy for haemophilia B last year - predicting blockbuster sales if the programme is successful - and has particularly high hopes for BAX 817, a short-acting recombinant Factor VIIa replacement therapy for on-demand treatment of haemophilia A that it believes could make $1.7bn a year or more.

Article by
Phil Taylor

11th September 2014

From: Research, Sales

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