Sandoz will establish global center of excellence at EBEWE site.

Novartis  is paying $1.2 billion in cash for Austria-based EBEWE Pharma’s specialty generic injectables business. The deal includes EBEWE Pharma’s portfolio of oncology and immunology products, Austrian manufacturing site, and IP, but excludes EBEWE’s separate injectable neurological products business.

Novartis said the acquisition will give its own generics business, Sandoz, a major new portfolio of oncology drugs and the opportunity to establish a new global center of excellence at the EBEWE site in Austria, led by the latter’s current CEO, Friedrich Hillebr. The new center aims to capitalize on EBEWE Pharma’s hospital marketing expertise and customer partnerships, along with skills in developing differentiated generics and injectables manufacturing.

Commenting on the deal (which is still subject to relevant regulatory approvals), Daniel Vasella, Ph.D., chairman and CEO at Novartis, said, “The addition of EBEWE Pharma’s leading portfolio of oncology medicines fits our strategy and improves our ability to help cancer patients around the world by providing easier access to therapies. EBEWE Pharma will further strengthen our pipeline with many planned near-term launches.”

A subsidiary of BASF for nearly 50 years, EBEWE Pharma became independent following a management buyout in 2001. The company is focused on developing innovative generics, including ready-to-use liquid formulations, new dosage forms, advanced delivery devices and new packaging. Net sales of $272 million were recorded in fiscal 2008, and 20% compound annual sales growth achieved since 2006. Among the company’s generics portfolio are front-line treatments including paclitaxel, epirubicin, methotrexate, oxaliplatin, carboplatin, doxorubicin, and gemcitabine.

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