Responding to a Swiss newspaper that claimed Novartis is cutting ties with Sandoz, the company announced on Tuesday that it is “completely committed” to the $10 billion-per-year generics unit.
Sreejit Mohan, a spokesman for the drugmaker, elaborated, “We’re looking at transforming it and making it as strong as it can be in the global generics business.” He added that Sandoz will be given more autonomy to navigate the dynamic generics environment, where the company has been under price pressure. “The whole goal is to try to make Sandoz as agile as possible, to compete in that environment, to give it the autonomy to be as agile as possible. That’s essentially been the message that we’ve been delivering, so I have no idea how that led to saying ‘split off.'”
Recently, Sandoz halted attempts to gain U.S. regulatory approval for a copy of Roche’s $7 billion-per-year blockbuster Rituximab, a medication used to treat cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, concluding that other drugmakers would beat them to market in the United States because of the necessary data the company was required to generate for the FDA approval.
However, Novartis has stated that it remains committed to Sandoz’s biosimilar portfolio. “I think Sandoz is on the right track,” Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan commented. “Challenging environment, but I think we’re taking the steps necessary to put the division in a place where it can succeed.”
(Source: Channel News Asia)