Sandoz US to sell dermatology and oral solids businesses to Aurobindo

Pharma acquisition news : Sandoz US, a subsidiary of Swiss pharma company Novartis, has agreed to sell its dermatology and oral solids businesses to Indian pharma company Aurobindo Pharma in a deal that could fetch it up to $1 billion.

As per the terms of the deal, the Indian pharma company through its subsidiary Aurobindo Pharma USA will pay $900 million in cash to Sandoz US along with $100 million in the form of potential earn-outs.

According to Novartis, the sale of the dermatology and oral solids businesses is to enable Sandoz US to focus on complex generics, biosimilars and value-added medicines for sustainable and profitable growth in the US over the long-term.

Richard Francis – CEO of Sandoz and Member of the Novartis Executive Committee, commenting on the sale of the Sandoz US dermatology and oral solids businesses said: “Sharpening our portfolio focus in the US allows us to devote more time and resources toward our strategy of bringing complex generics, value-added medicines and biosimilars to patients in the US, creating higher value and opening up access to important medicines where alternatives are truly needed.

“Through this transaction, we are refocusing our business but also striving to ensure continuity of supply of important long-used generic medicines for patients and customers in the US.”

Sandoz US, a subsidiary of Novartis, to sell dermatology and oral solids businesses to Aurobindo in a deal worth around $1bn.
Sandoz US, a subsidiary of Novartis, to sell dermatology and oral solids businesses to Aurobindo in a deal worth around $1bn. Photo courtesy of Novartis AG.

Included in the transaction are nearly 300 products, additional development projects and also a dermatology development center.

As part of the acquisition, Aurobindo Pharma will take over the manufacturing facilities of Sandoz US in Wilson, North Carolina, and also in Hicksville and Melville in New York. The business to be divested by Sandoz US had registered net sales of $600 million in the first half of 2018.

Upon closing of the deal, nearly 750 employees in certain facilities of Sandoz US and the field representatives for the PharmaDerm dermatology business are likely to be transferred to Aurobindo Pharma.

Commenting on the acquisition of Sandoz US dermatology and oral solids businesses, N Govindarajan – Managing Director of Aurobindo Pharma said: “Acquiring these businesses from Sandoz will allow us to further expand our product offering and to become a leading player in the generic dermatology market.

“Overall the transaction will position Aurobindo as the 2nd largest dermatology player and the 2nd largest generics company in the US by prescriptions.”

Novartis said that after the sale of the dermatology and oral solids businesses, the Sandoz US portfolio will feature biosimilars, value-added medicines and complex generics like injectables, ophthalmics and respiratory.

The sale of the Sandoz US dermatology and oral solids businesses is anticipated in the course of next year upon completion of customary closing conditions.

Recently, Sandoz’s parent company Novartis secured approval in Europe for its skin cancer drug combo Tafinlar (dabrafenib) and Mekinist (trametinib) as an adjuvant therapy for stage III patients with BRAF V600 mutation-positive melanoma post complete surgical resection.