Novartis to Buy Ocular Gene Therapy Firm for Up to $1.5 Billion
(Bloomberg) -- Novartis AG agreed to buy Gyroscope Therapeutics, a U.K.-based ocular gene therapy company, for as much as $1.5 billion as the pharmaceutical giant pursues acquisitions of smaller firms with promising drug pipelines.
The Swiss drugmaker will make an upfront payment of $800 million and potential additional milestone payments of $700 million, according to a statement Wednesday.
Gyroscope employs 200 people and is in a late-stage trial for a treatment of geographic atrophy, an age-related degeneration of part of the eye that leads to irreversible vision loss.
Novartis said the acquisition will bolster its capabilities in retinal diseases and gene therapy. There are currently no approved therapies for the 8 million people suffering from geographic atrophy, it said.
Earlier this month Novartis said it planned to buy back as much as $15 billion of shares with the proceeds from the sale of its stake in Roche Holding AG.
Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland, also told investors it has as many as 20 potential blockbuster medicines that could be approved by 2025, seeking to allay concern its drug pipeline isn’t as robust as that of some rivals after recent development setbacks.
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