Novartis Buys Cancer Drug Unit
Novartis is buying the injectable generic cancer drugs business of Austria's Ebewe Pharma and may pursue other similar deals as it fleshes out a planned diversification away from brand-name treatments. The Swiss firm said it is paying €925 million in cash for the business, and is also looking forward to a successful 2009 despite the recession. When asked about further acquisitions, Chief Executive Daniel Vasella said major buys were unlikely as Novartis is still committed to securing a majority of eyecare company Alcon. He sees little signs of a slowdown for Novartis, although consumers are cutting back in some self-pay areas, for example opting for cheaper alternatives to branded over-the-counter medicines.