Production & Manufacturing

Novartis to buy nuclear medicine firm Advanced Accelerator Applications for $3.9bn

PBR Staff Writer Published 31 October 2017

Novartis has agreed to acquire French radiopharmaceutical company Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA) for $3.9bn to strengthen its oncology presence.

The transaction is expected to help Novartis with near-term product launches along with the addition of a new technology platform with potential applications in various oncology early development programs.

AAA develops, manufactures and commercializes molecular nuclear medicines, including Lutathera (177Lu-DOTATATE), which is a first-in-class RLT product developed for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).

Lutathera and other radiopharmaceuticals are rare medicinal formulations made up of radioisotopes which are clinically used for diagnosis and therapy.  

The radiopharmaceutical was approved in Europe last month for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic, progressive, well differentiated (G1 and G2), somatostatin receptor positive gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs).

In the US, Lutathera is under review with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date of 26 January, 2018.

Novartis Oncology CEO Bruno Strigini said: “Novartis has a strong legacy in the development and commercialization of medicines for neuroendocrine tumors where significant unmet need remains for patients.

“With Lutathera we can build on this legacy by expanding the global reach of this novel, differentiated treatment approach and work to maximize Advanced Accelerator Applications broader RLT pipeline and an exciting technology platform.”

AAA expects the transaction to help in the launch of lutetium Lu 177 dotatate (Lutathera) for NETs and also in fueling the advancement of its oncology theragnostic platform.

AAA CEO Stefano Buono said: “We recognize the value creation this proposed transaction provides for our shareholders, who have supported our growth over the past 15 years.

“We believe that the combination of our expertise in radiopharmaceuticals and theragnostic strategy together with the global oncology experience and infrastructure of Novartis, provide the best prospects for our patients, physicians and employees, as well as the broader nuclear medicine community.”

As per the transaction terms, Novartis will purchase all the ordinary shares of AAA at $41 per share and $82 per American depositary share. The transaction will be subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

Image: Headquarters of Advanced Accelerator Applications in Saint-Genis-Pouilly, France. Photo: courtesy of Advanced Accelerator Applications.