Sandoz to acquire GSK’s cephalosporin antibiotics business in $500m worth deal

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Sandoz, a division of Swiss pharma giant Novartis, has agreed to acquire GSK’s cephalosporin antibiotics business in a deal worth up to $500 million.

The deal gives Sandoz global rights to the Zinnat, Zinacef, and Fortum brands in over 100 markets.

However, the deal does not include the rights in the US, Australia, and Germany to certain of those brands, which were sold previously by GSK, and in India, Pakistan, Egypt, Japan (to certain of the brands), and China, which will be retained by the UK-based pharma company.

The three cephalosporin antibiotics brands are now off-patent.

Last year, the three brands had combined sales of around $140 million in the relevant markets.

Cephalosporins antibiotics are used for the treatment of a variety of bacterial infections.

Richard Saynor – Sandoz CEO said: “This important transaction will further position Sandoz as a global leader in antibiotics – truly essential medicines that are the backbone of modern healthcare systems.

“Cephalosporins are the largest antibiotic segment by global sales and acquiring this leading business, including the established global Zinnat brand, will complement our #1 position in generic penicillins, the other key segment.

“It will also set us up for additional synergies driven by an increased promotional footprint that will support growth of both the acquired brands and the current existing Sandoz portfolio.”

Sandoz to acquire GSK’s cephalosporin antibiotics business in $500m worth deal

Sandoz to acquire GSK’s cephalosporin antibiotics business in $500m worth deal. Photo courtesy of Ian Wilson/

The sale is in line with GSK’s strategy to prioritize and simplify its portfolio and invest in its research and development pipeline and new product launches.

GSK stated: “Cephalosporin manufacturing will transfer from GSK sites to Sandoz following a four-year manufacturing and supply agreement (MSA) and subsequent transfer of manufacturing operations.

“GSK proposes to close its Cephalosporins manufacturing operations once the transfer of manufacturing operations to Sandoz is complete and the MSA has come to an end, currently expected to be in 2025.”

As per the terms, Sandoz will pay $350 million at closing followed by milestone payments of up to $150 million.

Subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to be wrapped up in the latter half of 2021.

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