CSL has more than 40 years of experience in the influenza vaccines business and operates in 27 countries with more than 13,000 employees worldwide. In addition to vaccines, CSL has established businesses in plasma-driven therapies, pharmaceuticals, antivenoms and immunohemotology. The Novartis influenza vaccines unit will be combined with CSL's subsidiary, bioCSL.
The Novartis influenza vaccines business has a strong track record of delivering almost one billion doses of seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines globally over the last 30 years. The company was the first and only manufacturer with the flexibility of two production technologies—egg-based vaccines for seasonal, pandemic and pre-pandemic, and cell-culture-based vaccines for antibiotic-free production with the potential for rapid scale-up to protect against pandemic threats. The business also benefits from access to a proprietary adjuvant platform and leadership in pandemic preparedness.
Novartis remains fully committed to the influenza business during the transition period to closing, including honoring agreements with customers, R&D for influenza vaccines and product launches.
Until the transaction with CSL is completed, Novartis will continue to operate its influenza vaccines business and report its results under discontinuing operations. The influenza vaccines business will be reported together with the non-influenza business until such time as the non-influenza vaccines business is divested to GlaxoSmithKline as part of that previously announced transaction.
In April, Novartis reached a definitive agreement with GSK to exchange certain assets, building global leadership in key segments and focusing the Novartis portfolio. Novartis would strengthen its innovative pharmaceuticals business by acquiring GSK oncology products and divest Novartis Vaccines (excluding influenza) to GSK. The two companies would also create a joint venture, combining their consumer divisions to create a world-leading consumer healthcare business.
Separately, Novartis announced an agreement with Eli Lilly to divest its animal health division, further focusing its portfolio on the leading businesses of innovative pharmaceuticals, eye care and generics. These transactions are subject to closing conditions. The Lilly transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015 and the GSK transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2015.