Novartis buys Takeda's Xiidra for upwards of $5.3B: 3 details

Swedish pharmaceutical company Novartis bought Xiidra, a drug for dry eyes, from Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda for $3.4 billion up front, and with $1.9 billion in milestone payments May 9, according to Reuters. The deal is expected to close in July.

Three details:

1. Takeda sold the drug to reduce debt, and the deal includes 400 Takeda employees meant to help Novartis sell Xiidra and another eye drug called RTH258 awaiting regulatory approval. Approved by the FDA in 2016, Xiidra had $400 million in sales last year.

2. This marks Takeda's first divestment since its takeover of Shire in January.

3. Novartis sold its eyecare division, Alcon, in March after moving its prescription eye drugs into Novartis' pharmaceuticals business.

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