Novartis To Acquire MorphoSys AG

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The agreement will strengthen Novartis’ oncology pipeline.

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Novartis entered into an agreement acquire MorphoSys AG, which will strengthen Novartis’ oncology pipeline.1

The agreement, which is still subject to closing conditions, says that Novartis will pay about $73-per-share (68 Euros-per-share), for a total of $2.9 billion. According to a press release from Novartis, this is an all-cash offer that has a minimum acceptance threshold of 65% of outstanding shares.

Both Novartis’ and MorphoSys’ boards unanimously agreed to the deal.

In a press release, Novartis’ chief medical officer and president of development Shreeram Aradhye, M.D., said, “We are excited about the opportunity of bringing pelabresib, a potential next-generation treatment combined with ruxolitinib, to people living with myelofibrosis, a rare and debilitating form of blood cancer. With the planned acquisition of MorphoSys, we aim to further strengthen our leading pipeline and portfolio in oncology, adding to our capabilities and expertise. Building on our long-standing development partnership with MorphoSys, we look forward to continuing our work together to realize the full impact and value of their investigational medicines for patients with unmet needs.”

MorphoSys AG is a German-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new oncology treatments. The company has developed drugs likes pelabresib, a myelofibrosis treatment, and tulmimetostat, an early stage treatment for patients with solid tumors or lymphomas. These treatments will become part of Novartis' pipeline upon the completion of the acquisition.

Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis will conduct a voluntary public takeover of MorphoSys once the closing conditions are met. According to Novartis, it believes that the deal will be finalized within the first half of 2024.

This takeover is part of a larger trend of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) within the pharma industry. After the pandemic, the industry saw a brief period where M&As slowed down, although that trend started to reverse itself in 2023. As 2024 gets going, there have already been several high-profile M&As, signifying that this trend will continue in the new year.

Pharmaceutical Executive previously reported Novo Nordisk’s parent company has agreed to acquire Catalent, Inc.2 Similarly to the Novartis/MorphoSys deal, the Novo Holdings deal is still contingent upon closing conditions and regulatory approval. Once the closing conditions are met, Novo Nordisk has agreed to purchase three manufacturing sites that are currently owned by Catalent.

The Novo Nordisk deal is a move by the company to improve its ability to produce Wegovy, a popular weight loss drug. The company has struggled to meet the demand for the medication, which became popular after being promoted by social media influencers. The demand became so high that Novo Nordisk had to limit the supply of starter doses of Wegovy in the US in mid-2023. The company has since increased the supply of starter doses in the US, signifying an increase in the company’s ability to meet the extreme demand.

Sources

  1. Novartis To Strengthen Oncology Pipeline With Agreement to Acquire MorphoSys AG for EUR 68 Per Share or an Aggregate of EUR 2.7bn in Cash. Novartis. February 5, 2024. Accessed February 7, 2024. https://www.novartis.com/news/media-releases/novartis-strengthen-oncology-pipeline-agreement-acquire-morphosys-ag-eur-68-share-or-aggregate-eur-27bn-cash
  2. Hollan, Mike. Novo Nordisk’s Parent Company to Acquire Catalent To Boost Supply of Wegovy. Pharmaceutical Executive. February 5, 2024. Accessed February 7, 2024. https://www.pharmexec.com/view/novo-nordisk-parent-company-catalent-acquisition-wegovy
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