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Novartis Enters Agreement to Acquire AveXis

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About the agreement

On April 9, 2018, Novartis AG (NVS) announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire AveXis (AVXS), a clinical-stage gene therapy company, for ~$8.7 billion. 

The acquisition will help Novartis to expand its position as a leader in gene therapy and neuroscience products.

The chart above shows the highlights of the Novartis-AveXis agreement.

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The transaction

Novartis AG has entered into an agreement and plan for a merger with AveXis whereby Novartis will commence a tender offer to purchase AveXis’s outstanding shares. The shares will be purchased by Novartis AM Merger Corporation, a subsidiary formed by Novartis for the acquisition. The shares will be purchased at $218 per share, a total of ~$8.7 billion, in an all-cash deal.

The transaction is expected to be completed by mid-2018.

About Novartis

Headquartered in Switzerland, Novartis AG is a leading pharmaceutical company. It’s involved in developing, manufacturing, and commercializing various pharmaceutical and healthcare products globally.

About AveXis

AveXis is a US-based clinical-stage gene therapy biotechnology company. The company is based in Bannockburn, Illinois. There are several ongoing clinical studies being carried out by AveXis for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (or SMA). AveXis’s product portfolio includes an investigational product called AVXS-101, which is a gene therapy. AVXS-101 has been granted Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA for the treatment of SMA. AVXS-101 has also been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation and Fast Track Designation for the treatment of SMA type 1.

The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) holds 2.4% of its total investments in AveXis, 1.5% in Celgene (CELG), and 1.5% in BioMarin (BMRN).

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