Novartis To Acquire Takeda’s Dry-Eye Care Drug Xiidra in $5.3-Billion Deal

By Patricia Van Arnum - DCAT Editorial Director

May 9, 2019

Novartis has entered into an agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical to acquire the assets associated with Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution), a prescription drug for treating dry eye, for $3.4-billion upfront and up to $1.9 billion in potential milestone payments.

As part of the agreement, Novartis will be taking on approximately 400 employees associated with the product.

Xiidra is approved to treat the signs and symptoms of dry-eye disease in multiple markets including the US, Canada, and Australia. It is under regulatory review in a number of additional markets. It has an anti-inflammatory mechanism of action.

Closing of the transaction is expected in the second half of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. On closing, Novartis plans to integrate Xiidra into its pharmaceuticals portfolio. Novartis says that the additional commercial experience established with Xiidra is expected to better position the company for front-of-the-eye pipeline products currently in development.

In a separate transaction, Takeda has agreed to sell to Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) Ethicon, the company's medical-device business, TachoSil Fibrin Sealant Patch, a surgical path for bleeding control, for $400 million. Upon close, Ethicon will acquire the assets and licenses that support the manufacturing, licensing and commercialization of TachoSil while Takeda will maintain ownership of the manufacturing facility in Linz, Austria. Takeda has entered into a long-term manufacturing services agreement under which it will continue to manufacture TachoSil products and supply them to Ethicon.

The agreement is expected to close in the second half of calendar year 2019, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, receipt of required regulatory clearances and, where applicable, satisfaction of local works council requirements.

Takeda says that both divestments, respectively to Novartis and J&J, are part of its long-term growth strategy and plan to pay down debt following its $62-billion acquisiiton of Shire, which closed earlier this year (January 2019).

Source: Novartis and Takeda