BUSINESS: ICYMI Takeda Completes Sale of Xiidra to Novartis By Staff Friday, July 12, 2019 9:15 AM OSAKA, Japan—Takeda Pharmaceutical Company (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) announced last week that it completed the sale of its Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5 percent product to Novartis for $3.4 billion upfront in cash and up to an additional $1.9 billion in potential milestone payments. VMail first reported news of the pending deal in May. “The completion of this transaction marks an important step in executing Takeda’s strategy, which is focused on optimizing our portfolio around the key business areas that are core to our long-term growth and creating the most value for our patients and shareholders,” said Christophe Weber, president and CEO of Takeda.“We are making solid progress on our commitment to simplify our portfolio and meet our deleveraging targets, while continuing to deliver highly-innovative medicines and transformative care to patients around the world and enhance long-term shareholder value. We are proud of the benefits Xiidra has created for patients as part of Takeda, and confident that Novartis will be a strong steward of this innovative therapeutic.” Marie-France Tschudin, president, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, commented, “This deal delivers on our ongoing commitment to reimagine medicine for patients suffering from a variety of eye diseases, while also laying critical groundwork for future, potential front-of-the-eye pipeline products we have in development.”Takeda said it intends to use the proceeds from the sale to reduce its debt and accelerate deleveraging toward its target of 2x net debt/adjusted EBITDA in the medium term following closing of the Shire acquisition. As of March 31, 2019, Takeda has 5,048.9 billion yen in net debt outstanding and its net debt/adjusted EBITDA ratio is 4.7x. Takeda continues to target a net debt/adjusted EBITDA ratio of 2x within three to five years.Xiidra is the first and only prescription treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for both signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, with a mechanism of action that targets inflammation.