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Novartis spruces up Sandoz—again—by bringing 6 new US generics into the fold

Novartis has been busy beefing up Sandoz on the way to spin out the unit into the world’s largest generics company.

In a new deal unveiled Thursday, Sandoz obtained exclusive rights to sell six small-molecule generic candidates in the U.S. from Malta-based pharmaceutical company Adalvo.

Sandoz declined to name the exact products but said they belong to the oncology, antifungal/antibiotic and pulmonary disease fields. Together, they address markets worth about $3 billion, according to the companies.

The products could reach the market in the near future, and four of them could potentially be first-to-market offerings, Sandoz said.

Adalvo billed the deal as a step toward expanding its reach into the U.S. market; the company is currently mainly active in Europe and other parts of the world.

For Sandoz, the agreement helps advance its ambition “to be the world’s largest and most valued generics company,” Keren Haruvi, Sandoz’s U.S. head, said in a statement.

Novartis is working to turn Sandoz into a standalone company in the second half of this year. Amid that effort, it’s made a series of investments at its generics group, especially in the anti-infectives field.

In January, Sandoz acquired worldwide rights to Astellas’ antifungal agent Mycamine for the treatment of invasive candidiasis and esophageal candidiasis. The move came weeks before the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warned of a concerning rise of potentially deadly invasive infection by the yeast Candida auris.

Earlier in 2021, Sandoz bought GSK’s cephalosporin business, including Zinnat, in more than 100 markets.

Over the past few years, Sandoz has unveiled a series of investments totaling more than 250 million euros to increase its manufacturing capacity for antibiotics. These include a 50 million euro investment to support the manufacturing of penicillins in Europe that was announced in November.

Beyond antibiotics, Sandoz acquired a biosimilar to Roche’s cancer drug Avastin from Bio-Thera Solutions in 2021. Last year, the Novartis division acquired Coalesce Product Development, which develops delivery devices for respiratory medicines.

As Novartis works through the separation, Sandoz’s business performance has been looking better lately. In the first quarter, Sandoz’s sales grew 8% under constant currencies to $2.4 billion. For the full year, Novartis expects mid-single-digit sales growth from the franchise.

For years before that, the group had been dragging on Novartis’ financials.



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