Takeda Agrees to Sell Dry-Eye Treatment Xiidra to Novartis

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OSAKA, Japan—Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE: 4502/NYSE:TAK) said it has entered into an agreement to divest its Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5% product to Novartis for up to $5.3 billion as part of its strategy to focus on business areas core to its long-term growth and to facilitate a rapid deleveraging following its acquisition of Shire. Upon closing of the deal with Novartis, approximately 400 employees, who are based primarily in the U.S. and Canada will transition to Novartis, according to Takeda’s announcement earlier this week. The closing is expected in the second half of 2019, according to Takeda.

Separately, Takeda agreed to sell its TachoSil Fibrin Sealant Patch to Ethicon, a surgical patch designed to achieve safe, fast and reliable bleeding control. Takeda agreed to acquire Shire in May 2018 in a deal valued at roughly $62 billion, as VMAIL reported.

“These initial divestitures represent important steps in advancing the growth strategy Takeda outlined following our transformational acquisition of Shire earlier this year,” Takeda president and chief executive officer Christophe Weber said in the announcement. “We are working to strategically simplify and optimize our portfolio, while also rapidly deleveraging and continuing to invest in our growth drivers as a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader.”

Takeda will receive $3.4 billion upfront in cash and up to an additional $1.9 billion in potential milestone payments from Novartis, and approximately $400 million upfront in cash from Ethicon, according to the announcement.

Xiidra, which recorded adjusted net sales of $388 million in the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, is the first and only prescription treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration for both signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, with a mechanism of action that targets inflammation, according to the announcement.