Novartis has agreed to pay $85 per share for The Medicines Company, which developed a new drug to fight against high cholesterol levels in people. The $9.7 billion cash deal acquiring the US drug maker is a bet that Inclisiran, is a “potentially transformational medicine.” There are millions of patients all over the world whose risk of cardiovascular disease is increased because of high levels of cholesterol in their blood.
“We believe that Inclisiran could contribute significantly to improved patient outcomes and help healthcare systems address the leading global cause of death,” Novartis chief executive Vas Narsimhan said.
Swiss-based Novartis has a market value of $203 billion. It has been growing recently in a similar way to many other big pharma companies, via disposals and takeovers.
The Medicines Company presented the results of a successful trial of Inclisiran, which lowers cholesterol in a unique way. Through the use of injections administered every few months, the drug lowers the production of “bad cholesterol” by inhibiting a protein that controls its production. This gene-silencing method of therapy is known as RNA interference, and although it has been around for decades, drugs using this methodology of treatment have been improving in recent years.