Sandoz Gears Up for Independence: Novartis Shareholders Give the Nod to Epic Spin-Off!
After a year-long journey toward independence, Sandoz, Novartis’ generics and biosimilars division, is on the cusp of a thrilling transformation. Shareholders of the Swiss pharmaceutical powerhouse have resoundingly greenlit the spin-off, poised to become a reality around October 4.
The move received a resounding thumbs-up from the Novartis board of directors back in July, patiently waiting for the shareholders’ stamp of approval.
What’s in store? Novartis shareholders are set to receive a Sandoz share for every five Novartis shares they hold, mirroring the same ratio for American Depository Receipts (ADRs).
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Joerg Reinhardt, expressed the monumental significance of this move, emphasizing how both Sandoz and Novartis are strategically positioning themselves to enhance management focus, allocate capital to top priorities, and ultimately, create enduring shareholder value.
Sandoz, the trailblazer in biosimilars, has wasted no time in paving its path to sovereignty. CEO Richard Saynor revealed ambitious plans, with the company gearing up to launch at least five new biological drugs alongside its existing impressive roster of 25. Currently, it stands as the world’s second-largest producer of biosimilars, right behind Pfizer. Saynor, with an unmistakable gleam of determination, declares his intent to surpass the behemoth Pfizer and claim the crown.
Intriguingly, Sandoz has been making strategic moves to solidify its position. Notably, it recently inked a development and commercialization pact with Samsung Bioepis, a collaboration aimed at producing SB17, a biosimilar challenger to Johnson & Johnson’s ustekinumab, famously known as Stelara. This monoclonal antibody, a bulwark against Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, plaque psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis, gained FDA approval in 2009. To add spice to the competition, patent protections for one of Stelara’s key molecules are set to expire on September 25.
The deal grants Sandoz exclusive commercialization rights for SB17 in the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, the U.K., and the European Economic Area. Saynor effuses, “This move will bolster our offerings in the realm of immunology, leading to a slew of high-value biosimilar launches in the coming years.”
But the race to challenge Stelara’s supremacy is heating up, with Amgen poised to enter the arena by January 1, 2025, as the frontrunner. They’ll face competition from Teva and Alvotech, who have until February 1, 2025, to make their move. It’s a battle royale in the world of biosimilars, and Sandoz is at the forefront, poised to shake up the status quo!