Novartis-owned Chiron and Panacea Biotec have amicably dissolved their vaccine joint venture due to strategic regions, according to Novartis.
When the Swiss pharma giant acquired Chiron in 2006 for $2.3bn , it took on the joint venture the vaccine-making firm had signed in 2004 with Indian company Panacea, focusing on providing new breakthrough vaccines in India.
Now, however, an official statement by Novartis has been issued saying “both parties decided to amicably dissolve the Joint Venture company for strategic reasons.”
The acquisition in 2006 led to the creation of two separate businesses specializing in vaccines and diagnostics division: Novartis Vaccines and a diagnostics business that retained the Chiron name.
Elizabeth Power, a spokesperson for Novartis, told in-Pharmatechnologist.com: “The joint venture kept the legacy name of Chiron in it, but the dissolution will result in a 50-50 split between Novartis and Panacea,” though could not divulge further details about the portfolio or financials involved in the break-up.
As for Novartis’ Indian vaccine business, Power said it has a significant presence in Ankleshwar. “We are currently focused in the Rabies segment, but intend to launch vaccines in flu and pediatric segments.”
The firm has looked to expand its vaccine business in the past few years. In 2009 it looked to buy an additional share of its majority-owned subsidiary, Novartis India, for around 4.4bn rupees ($87m).
Novartis has also been looking to expand its business through further acquisitions with a $1.2bn purchase of Ebewe’s generic injectables in 2009, and failed attempts earlier this year to buy Hikma’s injectables business for reportedly as much as $2bn.
In February 2012, the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed Panacea’s oral polio vaccine (OPV) from its list of prequalified vaccines, after a series of process changes at Panacea’s manufacturing plant in New Delhi, recommended following a previous WHO site audit, were deemed to need further corrective actions.
In a statement released last month discussing the firms’ Q1 2013-4 results, Panacea said it is confident “it will be able to get re-listing of combination vaccines in the list of WHO pre-qualified vaccines in due course,” following the “completed implementation of Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) subsequent to the visit by WHO auditors” during the current quarter.