Novartis spinning out eye care division

MeiraGTx & Janssen to develop inherited retinal disease treatments
Credit: Ramona Heim

Novartis today is spinning off Alcon, its eye care division, into a separately-traded standalone company for both companies to focus fully on their respective growth strategies.

“Our strategic review examined all options for Alcon ranging from retention, sale, IPO to spinoff,” said Chairman Joerg Reinhardt.

“The review concluded that a spinoff would be in the best interests of Novartis shareholders and the Board of Directors intends to seek shareholder approval for a spinoff at the 2019 AGM.

“This transaction would allow our shareholders to benefit from potential future successes of a more focused Novartis and a standalone Alcon, which would become a publicly traded global medtech leader based here in Switzerland.”

When Novartis acquired Alcon in 2011, the business included surgical, vision care and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals.

In January 2016, Novartis began the process of creating two best-in-class businesses with the transfer of Alcon’s ophthalmic pharmaceuticals to the Novartis Innovative Medicines Division.

The ophthalmology pharmaceuticals business will continue to develop as part of Novartis, with 2017 sales of $4.6 billion and the potential blockbuster medicine RTH258 in development for neovascular AMD and diabetic macular edema.

The Alcon Division is now fully focused on surgical and vision care, and continues to be the global leader in eye care devices.