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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Analyst Report) recently announced that Aspen Global Inc., a subsidiary of Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited, has offered to buy Glaxo’s thrombosis brands. Aspen Pharma has also offered to purchase the related manufacturing site in France, Notre-Dame de Bondeville. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Glaxo’s thrombosis brands include Arixtra and Fraxiparine. In the first quarter of 2013, Arixtra and Fraxiparine generated sales of £49 million (up 2% from the year-ago quarter) and £52 million (down 16% from the year-ago quarter), respectively. The proposed deal does not include right to the drugs in China, India and Pakistan.  

Glaxo and Aspen Pharma are no strangers to each other. Glaxo holds approximately 18.6% of Aspen Pharma’s shares (as per Aspen Pharma’s 2012 annual report). Both the companies had entered into a number of deals in the past.

Last year, Glaxo divested the majority of its Classic Brands in Australia and non-core over-the-counter (OTC) brands sold in international markets to Aspen Pharma.

We note that Glaxo’s product portfolio was boosted recently with the approvals of two melanoma drugs, Tafinlar (dabrafenib) and Mekinist (trametinib) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drug, Breo Ellipta. Moreover, Glaxo boasts of a robust pipeline. A number of pipeline-related news is expected in the coming quarters. We believe that the pipeline at Glaxo must deliver to combat the generic threat faced by the key drugs of the company.

Glaxo carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Companies that currently look well-positioned include Biogen Idec (BIIB - Analyst Report), Santarus, Inc. and Novo Nordisk (NVO - Analyst Report). While Biogen and Santarus are Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, Novo Nordisk is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.

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