(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline <GSK.L> will sell two travel vaccines to Bavarian Nordic <BAVA.CO> 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 <NOVN.S> in 2015 as part of a broad asset-swap https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gsk-novartis-oncology/novartis-ag-wins-approval-to-buy-gsk-cancer-drugs-with-conditions-idUSKBN0LR1JT20150223 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.
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(Reporting by Aakash Jagadeesh Babu and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)