Novartis (NVS): Some Examples of Joint Ventures, Partnerships, and Alliances

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

According to the Novartis strategic alliances webpage, the company is engaged in "More than 400 collaborations in over 20 countries, over 120 collaborations with major biotech companies, and over 280 collaborations with academic centers."

Selected Joint Ventures, Partnerships, and Alliances with Big Pharma 

Novartis and Bayer Schering AG  - PTK/ZK - These two companies initially collaborated in the development of PTK/ZK, an oral angiogenesis inhibitor used to slow the spread and growth of tumors.  Under a January 2005 agreement, Novartis and Schering will co-promote the drug.  According to the Healthcare Sales and Marketing Network, "Schering will become the lead partner in Europe while Novartis will be the lead partner in North America. The lead partner will bear the larger part of costs and resources, and will thus retain a correspondingly larger percentage of the profits. For Japan, costs and profits will be shared equally by Schering and Novartis. In Latin America, Africa and Australia Schering will exclusively market PTK/ZK. Novartis will exclusively market the product in Asia, excluding Japan. Additional details of the agreement were not disclosed."

Novartis and Celgene - Focalin™ - reports that, "Celgene's commercial programs include...sales of FOCALIN to Novartis Pharma AG (Novartis); a licensing agreement with Novartis, which entitles the Company to royalties on FOCALIN XR and the entire RITALIN family of drugs; a licensing and product supply agreement with Pharmion Corporation for its sales of thalidomide, and sales of bio-therapeutic products and services through its Cellular Therapeutics subsidiary."

According to Celgene investor information, "The Novartis ADHD product portfolio includes Ritalin, Ritalin SR, and Focalin (TM), a refined formulation of Ritalin. Celgene Corporation...granted Novartis Pharma AG an exclusive worldwide (excluding Canada) license covering its intellectual property rights associated with Focalin as well as Ritalin LA, a once-daily form of Ritalin that is currently under review at the FDA. Pursuant to an agreement between Novartis Pharma AG and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation markets Focalin in the U.S."

Novartis and Procter & Gamble - Enablex - Novartis acquired Enablex, known as Emselex in Europe, from Pfizer.  Prior to the Novartis-P&G arrangement, Novartis was marketing the drug, used to treat incontinence, exclusively in the U.S.  Their marketing collaboration with P&G was intended to increase their force in the worldwide market, estimated by the Pharmaceutical Business Review at $1.5 billion.  Enablex is predicted to corner 25% of this market in its peak year.

Novartis and Schering-Plough - Asmanex/Foradil - In April 2003 Novartis and Schering-Plough agreed to jointly develop and market a combination of Asmanex® (mometasone furoate) and Foradil® (formoterol fumarate) for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Schering-Plough previously held exclusive marketing and distribution rights to Novartis' Foradil Aeroizer®.  According to Medical News Today, "Novartis and Schering-Plough will share the costs of developing the indacaterol-mometasone combination product. No initial payments will be made by either party."

Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb Strategic Alliance for Zelmac™ - This collaboration included two Bristol-Myers Squibb biologics still in development and, according to Bristol-Myers Squibb, "the combined Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb field force effort will focus on establishing Zelmac's therapeutic value among physicians." - Oct. 18, 2000.

Selected Joint Ventures, Partnerships, and Alliances with Small Pharma

Novartis and Intercell alliance - in July 2007, according to Forbes, "Novartis improving its vaccines pipeline through a strategic alliance with Intercell which will give Novartis access to more than 10 Intercell projects in pre-clinical and early-stage development...for an upfront payment of 270 million euro including equity investment." –

Novartis and Alnylam alliance to discover RNAi therapeutics. in February 2006 Alnylam entered this $700 million collaboration with Novartis for the discovery of therapeutics based on RNA.  According to Medical News Today, "The two companies already have a multi-year alliance signed in September 2005 that is focused on the discovery of innovative therapeutics based on RNAi across multiple disease areas in the Novartis research portfolio."

Novartis and Infinity - In January 2005, Novartis reported that it would enter into an R&D collaboration with Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. to jointly design a collection of novel small molecules, which would be synthesized by Infinity.  According to Novartis, "Under the agreement, Novartis has made a significant equity investment in Infinity and will pay additional fees expected to exceed $10M over the course of the two year agreement. The Novartis Venture Fund has previously invested in Infinity." -

Novartis and Idenix Pharmaceuticals entered into an $862 million strategic alliance to developing and co-promote its hepatitis B and hepatitis C product candidates. The agreement provides that Novartis and Idenix will co-promote in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Novartis holds the exclusive license to these product candidates in the rest of the world.  In 2003, Novartis purchased a majority share of Idenix.

Collaborations with Universities

In October 2004, Novartis and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard announced a collaboration to uncover a genetic basis for type 2 diabetes.  All data derived from the collaboration was to be placed in public domain to speed drug discovery and development.

The 1998 deal between Novartis and the University of California at Berkeley, a $25 million, five-year agreement is considered a turning point in the private-public collaborations between big pharma and universities.  The UNESCO Courier reports that, "For the first time, the work of an entire university department, not just that of its individual members contracting in dependently, was to be underwritten by a multinational company, with interests in health care, agribusiness and nutrition."