Novartis strengthens its oncology portfolio with the acquisition of MorphoSys

Novartis AG announced Monday that it has agreed to buy German biopharmaceutical company MorphoSys AG for 2.7 billion euros ($2.9 billion).

Under the deal, Switzerland’s Novartis would acquire pelabresib, a potential treatment for myelofibrosis, and the cancer drug tulmimetostat.

“With the planned acquisition of MorphoSys, we aim to further strengthen our leading oncology pipeline and portfolio by increasing our capabilities and expertise,” Novartis President and Chief Medical Officer Shreeram Aradhye said in a statement.

Read also: Novo Nordisk, struggling to meet demand for weight-loss drugs, buys facilities in three-way deal

The deal has already been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and Novartis will launch a voluntary takeover offer on all bearer shares without par value of MorphoSys AG for 68 euros per share.

MorphoSys shares MOR,

skyrocketed after the deal was announced Monday. It will continue to operate as an independent company until the deal wins approval from shareholders and regulators, expected in the first half of 2024, Novartis said.

Last fall, Novartis spun off its generics unit, Sandoz SDZ,
focus on being a purely innovative company in the medicines industry. But last week it announced disappointing fourth-quarter earnings, along with a weaker-than-expected outlook.

The Swiss shares of Novartis NOVN,
have gained about 20% in the last 12 months, while its American Depositary Receipts NVS,
have increased by approximately 28%.

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