April 9, 2018 5:16am

In a cash deal 72% above 30-day average, AVXS had closed at $115.91 down -$3.69 or -3.09%

This is NVS' second notable gene therapy deal this year after it agreed to pay $105 million upfront and up to another $65 million in milestone payments for rights to Spark Therapeutics’ (ONCE) blindness treatment Luxturna outside the US.

AVXS-101 is a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)

The transaction is seen closing in mid-2018.

AVXS’ main drug, AVXS-101, for deadly spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), as well as the Illinois-based company's gene therapy expertise and manufacturing capabilities will bolster Novartis's neuroscience business.

NVS said the acquisition would slightly dent core operating income in 2018 and 2019, due to R&D costs, before it is expected to "strongly contribute" to profit and core earnings per share in 2020 as sales accelerate.


In recent months, France's Sanofi agreed to buy U.S haemophilia specialist Bioverativ for $11.6 billion and Belgium's Ablynx for 3.9 billion euros. Before that, U.S.-based Celgene bagged cancer specialist Juno Therapeutics for $9 billion. Japans Takeda Pharmaceutical is also considering a potential deal for London-listed Shire, which has a market value of about $47 billion.


AveXis is also developing gene therapy candidates in Rett Syndrome and inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). SMA is a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement, and commonly leads to death in young children. The total patient population for SMA was 23,500 people in established markets, plans to use proceeds from the GSK transaction to help pay for AveXis. (Source: Reuters, Ben Hirschler in London)


A serious premium, in a cash deal 72% above 30-day average, AVXS had closed at $115.91 down -$3.69 or -3.09%