Issue Date: July 14, 2008
Novartis to Buy All of Speedel
Novartis will pay a total of $880 million to first increase its stake in the Swiss biopharmaceutical firm Speedel from 9.7% to 61.4% and then buy the rest through a public offering. Novartis upped its stake by buying shares from five shareholders, including Speedel founder and CEO Alice Huxley, who held 21.5%. In 1998, Novartis helped fund Speedel's creation and gave it rights to the cardiovascular drug aliskiren, only to buy back rights in 2002. Approved in the U.S. and Europe in 2007, the drug, called Tekturna in the U.S., is the first in a new class of direct rennin inhibitors. The acquisition means that Novartis will no longer have to pay royalties and manufacturing fees to Speedel.
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