Novartis to Spin Off, List Sandoz Drugs Business
Novartis AG (-0.8%) is planning to spin off its generics-and-biosimilars division Sandoz and list it as a stand-alone company in Switzerland, a move Novartis said will enable it to focus on innovative medicines. The Swiss pharmaceutical company said Thursday that Sandoz would be based in Switzerland and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, with an American depositary receipt program in the U.S. Novartis said in October it was considering the sale or spinoff of the business, a move that would focus the once-sprawling healthcare conglomerate solely on prescription drugs. Over the last decade, it has shed units that sold animal medicines, vaccines, drugstore staples, contact lenses and tools for eye surgery. Since taking the helm in early 2018, Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan has doubled down on so-called innovative medicines and cutting-edge technologies such as gene therapies and radiopharmaceuticals, which are drugs that carry radioactive particles to tumors for close-range radiotherapy.