Takeda sells dry eye drug to Novartis

Takeda sells dry eye drug to Novartis

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd agreed to sell its dry eye drug to Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG for $3.4 billion and potential milestone payments of up to $1.9 billion, in the first divestment since its takeover of Britain’s Shire, Reuters reports.


Japan’s biggest drugmaker aims to dispose of $10 billion worth of assets to cut debt taken on for the huge Shire acquisition sealed in January, which catapulted it into the world’s top 10 drugmakers by sales but also made it one of the most indebted.


The sale of Shire’s Xiidra dry eye treatment is likely to close in the second half of 2019, Takeda and Novartis said in a statement.

Xiidra, approved to treat signs and symptoms of dry eye in the United States, Canada and Australia, would bolster Novartis’ front-of-the-eye portfolio, the Swiss drugmaker said.