GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in its efforts to expand its reach in emerging markets will acquire a 16% shareholding in the South Africa-based Aspen Pharmacare. In exchange, GSK will divest eight marketed products and a manufacturing plant. The deal is part of a wide ranging alliance between the firms to combine commercial activities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The products to be divested are Alkeran for myeloma (excluding U.S.), Kemadrin for Parkinson’s, antibiotic Septrin, Trandate for hypertension, as well as Lanvis, Leukeran, Myleran, and Purinethol for leukemia. Combined sales of these products were £56 million in 2008, according to GSK.
Aspen will also gain the Bad Oldesloe manufacturing site in Germany. It produces some of the products to be divested and a number of other products previously acquired by Aspen from GSK.
In June 2008 GSK sold ex-U.S. rights to four products to Aspen for £170 million: hormonal replacement therapy Eltroxin, Lanoxin for heart failure, Imuran for preventing rejection during kidney transplants, and Zyloric indicated for gout, kidney stones, and Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (also excluding Japan). The products, which largely no longer hold patent protection, recorded sales of around £80 million during 2007 outside of the U.S. GSK also says that the products require specialized manufacturing. A month later GSK acquired commercialization rights to a portfolio of Aspen's existing and pipeline products for use in a range of emerging market countries.
Under the terms of the current agreement, GSK and Aspen will collaborate on the commercialization of their current and future product portfolios in Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). The vast majority of combined current sales in this region (approximately £65 million in 2008) are attributable to GSK.
In South Africa, where Aspen has extensive commercial capability, GSK will transfer marketing and distribution rights to Aspen for its pharmaceutical products. In 2008, sales of these pharmaceutical products were approximately £45 million.
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