FILE PHOTO: The GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) logo is seen on top of GSK Asia House in Singapore, March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Loriene Perera/File Photo
(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline will sell two travel vaccines to Bavarian Nordic for up to 955 million euros ($1.1 billion), the British firm said on Monday, as it looks to bolster its push into the lucrative cancer drug market.
The sale of anti-rabies treatment Rabipur and Encepur, used for the prevention of tick-borne encephalitis, to the Denmark-based biotechnology firm includes an upfront payment of 301 million euros and milestone payments of up to 495 million euros.
Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley has been pushing for a leaner structure since she took over in 2017 by spinning off or selling units to focus on reinvigorating GSK’s pharmaceuticals business. It staged a comeback into cancer treatments with a $5.1 billion buyout of U.S. drugmaker Tesaro in December last year.
“This agreement with Bavarian Nordic will enable us to commit greater resources to our key growth assets and to our R&D pipeline,” Roger Connor, president of Global Vaccines at GSK said.
GSK, which is preparing to separate its consumer-facing products and drugs businesses, acquired the vaccines from Novartis in 2015 as part of a broad asset-swap here in which GSK sold its oncology business to the Swiss drugmaker.
The drugmaker reported revenue of 5.89 billion pounds ($7.61 billion) from its vaccines segment in 2018.
London-listed GSK said that both vaccines will continue to be manufactured at its Marburg site in Germany until full production is transferred to Bavarian Nordic within five years.
Reporting by Aakash Jagadeesh Babu and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur