Glaxo reverses course, won't spinoff lucrative ViiV Healthcare HIV unit
- GlaxoSmithKline has reversed course and decided to maintain its full stake in the ViiV Healthcare unit, nixing plans to spinoff the division.
- This decision was welcomed by investors, who have had to deal with news of a bribery scandal in China, lagging stock performance, the imminent genericization of Advair, and a depleted pipeline.
- GSK recently completed a swap with Novartis in which it sold its cancer drugs to Novartis in exchange for Novartis' vaccines, as well as additional cash.
While GSK is anticipating a high rate of EPS decline this year, because of pricing pressure on Advair, as well as the acquisition of the Novartis vaccine unit, they are still expecting growth in the range of the mid to high single digits between 2016 and 2020.
As for ViiV Healthcare, a joint venture between Pfizer and GSK focused on development of HIV therapies, things are continuing to go well. In fact, GSK's revenues for HIV treatments rose 42% in the first quarter of this year, compared with last year. This company has been very successful of late, including gaining FDA approval of Triumeq (abacavir/dolutegravir/lamivudine), a three-in-one, oral, fixed-dose combo therapy, in summer 2014.
Look for HIV-related sales to grow, especially with the addition of Triumeq, the first FDA-approved dolutegravir-based, fixed-dose combination,, to the Viiv portfolio. It should be noted that Triumeq is viewed as a new competitor to Gilead's Atripla (efavirenz/emtricitabane/tenofovir), which had revenues of $3.64 billion in 2013
- Bloomberg Business Glaxo Abandons HIV-Unit Spinoff Plan, Reduces Capital Payout