Novartis AG Sells Flu Vaccine Business For $275 Million To CSL Limited

Published: Oct 28, 2014

Novartis AG Sells Flu Vaccine Business For $275M To CSL Limited

October 27, 2014

By Krystle Vermes, Breaking News Staff

Swiss drugmaker Novartis announced today that it has entered an agreement to sell its influenza vaccine business to CSL Limited in a $275 million deal that will require regulatory approval before it closes by the end of the second half of 2015.

CSL Limited has approximately 40 years of experience in the influenza vaccine business and operates in 27 counties around the world. It has established businesses in plasma-driven therapies, pharmaceuticals, ant venoms and immunohemotology. Novartis’ influenza vaccine business has a track record of delivering 1 billion doses of seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines around the world over the past 30 years.

"In CSL, we have found not only an owner for the influenza business that shares our commitment to protecting public health, but also a strong growth platform for the business and our associates," said Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis.

Novartis said it remains fully committed to its influenza business during the transition period. It will honor existing agreements with customers, as well as research and development teams.

Preparing for Flu Season
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi, announced in July that it would begin shipping vaccines for the upcoming influenza season. Its vaccine, known as Fluzone on the market, received the stamp of approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the 2014-15 flu season.

"The flu impacts people in the U.S. every year, and the single best way to help prevent getting or spreading the influenza virus is timely vaccination," said David Greenberg, chief medical officer of Sanofi Pasteur U.S. "Sanofi Pasteur is committed to helping people fight the flu by offering a broad range of flu vaccine options to meet the needs of patients across multiple age groups."

The Fluzone vaccine is approved for people who are six months of age or older. It is available in a 0.5mL prefilled syringe, as well as a 5mL multi-dose vial. Each year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends influenza vaccination for the general public. The peak of influenza season is typically around February, and the CDC suggests flu vaccination as soon as the approved drugs become available.

"The CDC continues to stress that the single best way to prevent the flu is to receive an annual flu vaccination,” Greenberg continued. "Patients should work with their health care providers to find the best vaccine option for them this season."

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