GSK sells thrombosis drugs to Aspen for $1.13 billion

British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) is selling its injectable thrombosis brands and a manufacturing site to Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd, for £700 million ($1.13 billion).

The sale comes a month after London-based GSK agreed to sell its Lucozade and Ribena soft drink brands to Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd for £1.35 billion (See: Japan's Suntory to pay $2.11 bn for GSK's Lucozade, Ribena soft drink brands).

The deal will give Aspen, Africa's largest generic-drugs maker, the Arixtra and Fraxiparine/Fraxodi brands (excluding China, India and Pakistan) and the specialised Notre-Dame de Bondeville manufacturing plant in France and the majority of its employees.

Total sales of these products were £177 million in the first half of 2013.

In Indonesia, GSK will continue to distribute and market the brands under licence from Aspen.

GSK said that the sale is part of its plan to increase focus on products with the most growth potential and the delivery of its late-stage pipeline. 

GSK, which holds an 18.6-per cent stake in Aspen, said that it will use the proceeds from the sale for general corporate purposes.

David Redfern, chief strategy officer, GSK, said, ''Arixtra and Fraxiparine are established products that have consistently delivered strong revenues. However, our focus is on delivering an unprecedented late-stage pipeline and preparing for the launch of approved medicines.''  

''The limited focus by GSK on this therapeutic area represents an opportunity,'' Aspen said in a statement. ''GSK has not concentrated its promotion of the brands in many of the emerging markets targeted by Aspen as future areas of growth.''

Johannesburg-based Aspen has 17 manufacturing facilities at 12 pharmaceutical manufacturing sites on six continents and approximately 7,400 employees.

The Japan Stock Exchange-listed company has a presence in South Africa, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Ireland, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Hong Kong, Philippines and Australia.