Novartis Reportedly Starting the Sale of Some Ophthalmology Assets

Novartis Reportedly Starting the Sale of Some Ophthalmology Assets

March 15, 2023

According to sources familiar with the matter, Novartis AG is kicking off the process of selling some of its ophthalmology assets in order to prune its portfolio and concentrate on other therapeutic areas, including hematology, immunology, solid tumors, neurology, and cardiovascular illnesses. The news emerged last year after Bloomberg News reported that the company was exploring options for all or parts of its ophthalmology and respiratory units.

The Swiss pharmaceutical company is collaborating with an advisor to assess the potential interest in their front-of-eye treatments, which includes the dry eye drug, Xiidra. Xiidra produced $487 million in revenue in the previous year.

Novartis anticipates that their ophthalmology assets will attract interest from both private equity and strategic bidders, sources familiar with the matter reported. They also revealed that Novartis has commenced contact with potential buyers. The sources, who chose to remain anonymous due to the confidential nature of the information, disclosed that discussions are ongoing, and Novartis has not yet made a decision to retain or dispose of the assets.

The sources added that the sale of Novartis' ophthalmology portfolio does not include Lucentis, which is a drug used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration. Lucentis generated roughly $1.9 billion in revenue in the previous year.

While individuals with knowledge of the matter have stated that Novartis is currently seeking to sell some of its ophthalmology assets, it should be noted that the company's CEO Vas Narasimhan refuted these rumors in January 2023, stating that there were no plans to sell the entire ophthalmology business. Despite this, the ophthalmic industry remains eagerly awaiting the outcome of any potential sale of Novartis' ophthalmology assets.