GSK sells anaesthetics portfolio to Aspen

GlaxoSmithKline is to sell a portfolio of anaesthetics to South Africa’s Aspen in a deal worth up to £280 million.

The companies, which have worked closely together for several years, are also to terminate a collaboration in sub-Saharan Africa.

Aspen will exercise its option to acquire GSK’s remaining thrombosis business in certain markets, GSK said in a statement.

The anaesthetics portfolio consists of Ultiva (remifentanil), Nimbex (cistracurium), Tracrium (atracurium), Mivacron (mivacurium), and Anectine (succinylcholine).

GSK’s deal with Aspen in sub-Saharan Africa, which excludes South Africa, dates back to 2009, when the companies agreed to collaborate on marketing future and current products.

In 2013, GSK divested its thrombosis portfolio to Aspen, but retained ownership in China, Hong Kong, Macau, India and Pakistan. Aspen has now exercised an option to acquire the drugs in these markets.

Sales of the anaesthesia drugs totalled £35 million in the first half of 2016, while the remaining thrombosis portfolio had full-year sales of around £30 million in 2015.

The impact of the termination of the collaboration, and the divestment of the thrombosis portfolio is “not material”, GSK said.

A series of trial results announced last week showed GSK’s respiratory products are facing tough competition.

AstraZeneca is set to file benralizumab which could steal sales from GSK’s Nucala (mepolizumab) in asthma and Novartis’ Ultibro Breezhaler beat GSK’s Seretide in a head-to-head COPD trial.

GSK also announced mixed results from the Salford Lung Study, a “real world” trial involving its newer COPD drug, Relvar Ellipta.

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