GSK Sells Vaccines, Avoids Trouble

GSK Sells Vaccines, Avoids Trouble
GSK Montgomery County Planning Commission / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
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In a press statement issued by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the pharmaceutical giant has confirmed that it will be selling its two meningitis vaccines, Nimenrix and Mencevax, to Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc. The said vaccines are sold outside the United States and have fetched a combined total global sales of £34 million (approximately $53.9 million) back in 2014.


This sale comes as part of a greater three-part deal that has been conditionally approved by  the European Commission, Mondaq reports. Back in January 28, 2015, the European Commission actually approved transactions between GSK and Novartis, which would result in GSK acquiring Novartis’ human vaccine business while Novartis acquires GSK’s oncology business. Reuters also reports that the vaccine business sold to GSK included Novartis’ meningitis vaccines, Menveo and Bexsero.

In a report by the Associated Press published in The Sacramento Bee, Novartis is expected to pay GSK around $14.5 billion for its cancer drug business. Meanwhile, GSK is expected to pay Novartis at least $5.25 billion for the vaccine business. Moreover, the said companies can reportedly make further payments based on sales.

Mondaq further reports that since GSK and Novartis are the only suppliers of bacterial meningitis vaccines in the European Economic Area, the sale can possibly monopolize the said vaccine industry if the GSK’s sale to Pfizer was not made.

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For the moment, GSK states that the agreement with Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals “remains subject to final European Commission approval, other regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.” Just the same, they hope that the sale will be completed before the year ends. They estimate the value of the sale to be around €115 million (approximately $130 million).

Furthermore, the sale is not the only the partnership that exists between Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and GSK. In fact, the two have established an independent pharmaceutical company back in 2009 known as ViiV Healthcare to actively pursue HIV treatments. In 2014, ViiV Healthcare reportedly earned an annual sales of £1.5 billion, according to their company website. The company has presence in as much as 15 countries and make up a staff of over 700 people.