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Novartis CEO Refutes Rumors for Ophthalmology Unit Sell-off

Novartis CEO Refutes Rumors for Ophthalmology Unit Sell-off

January 11, 2023

At the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan denied rumors that the pharmaceutical giant is planning to sell its respiratory and ophthalmology units altogether. The rumors, which have been circulating for several weeks, suggested that Novartis was looking to divest the unit in order to focus on innovative medicines, and, more specifically, five therapeutic areas.

Novartis has “no intention” of cutting loose its respiratory and eye meds at the moment, Narasimhan said at the conference, refuting a recent Bloomberg report that the company is considering selling its ophthalmology and respiratory units.

The CEO added that the company is committed to ophthalmology brands, which include popular anti-VEGF drugs Lucentis and Beovu, as well as Roche-partnered gene therapy Luxturna. The ophthalmology unit generates billions in revenue for Novartis and is considered a growth driver for the company. The unit also includes a strong R&D team and has a strong pipeline of potential new treatments.

Novartis is in the process of a significant revamp, adopting a new organizational model in a restructuring to focus on five therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, immunology, neuroscience, solid tumors, and hematology.

As part of the new plan, Novartis will no longer have separate commercial units for oncology and pharmaceuticals. Instead, all Novartis unique medications will be consolidated under a single innovative medicines unit that will be administered by US and international market organizations, according to the company.

Source: Fierce Pharma