In January, GlaxoSmithKline closed a three-way transaction which saw it acquire Novartis’s vaccines business (excluding influenza vaccines), sell its oncology portfolio and form a consumer health joint venture with the Swiss Giant.
As part of the exchange, GSK added the meningitis vaccine Bexsero to its portfolio.
However, the European Commission and other competition regulators stipulated GSK had to divest its legacy meningitis vaccines, Nimenrix and Mencevax, and last week the two products were picked up by fellow Big Pharma firm Pfizer for $130m (€120m).
“The addition of Nimenrix and Mencevax is an important milestone for Pfizer Vaccines,” said Susan Silbermann, President of Pfizer Vaccines. “Adding these two innovative and complementary vaccines to our current portfolio will allow us to more completely respond to meningococcal disease outbreaks as well as proactively address a critical public health need.”
Mencevax is a single-dose meningococcal ACWY unconjugated polysaccharide vaccine used to control outbreaks of meningococcal infection, while Nimenrix is a single dose meningococcal tetanus toxoid conjugated vaccine for prevention against the rare but contagious disease Neisseria meningitides.
In 2014 the products added around £34m ($54m) to GSK’s total revenues.
Since agreeing to acquire Novartis’ vaccine business in April 2014, GSK has been restructuring its vaccine division, closing an R&D lab in Montana and establishing a centralised development hub in Rockville, Maryland. On the manufacturing side, GSK has taken over ex-Novartis facilities in India and China.