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Swiss pharmaceutical Novartis acquires US cholesterol drugmaker for $9.7 billion

By Ramla Soni

Swiss company agrees to pay $85 a share for The Medicines Company

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis is to acquire US cholesterol drugmaker, The Medicines Company, for an agreed cash sum of $9.7 billion (£7.5bn, €8.8bn).

Novartis has agreed to pay $85 a share for the company in a deal that is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

The takeover marks the latest attempt by Vasant Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis, to reshape the pharmaceutical company, which has a market value of $203 billion (£158bn).

The company is already targeting the market with drugs such as the heart-failure treatment Entresto.

Medicines closed down nearly 2 per cent Friday at 68.55 a share. The company, which has a market cap of about $5.4 billion, is up 258 per cent year to date.

This month, The Medicines Company partnered with Boston-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and presented the successful results of its cholesterol-lowering drug, which reduced the so called “bad” cholesterol, suffered by millions of Americans, by up to 58 per cent.

The drug is an injection, administered every few months, rather than the current treatment of a statin pill daily.

Novartis, which is headquartered in Basel, said over 50 million patients could not control their high cholesterol with the current standard of care.

The drug, which has yet to be approved, works by silencing a gene and reducing a protein that controls the production of “bad” cholesterol.

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