GlaxoSmithKline sells psoriasis drug to Dermavant
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GlaxoSmithKline sells psoriasis drug to Dermavant

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has just signed a $330 million deal with Roivant subsidiary Dermavent. Roivant is a global healthcare business, and Dermavent is its skincare segment. The latter has agreed to buy the rights to GSK’s tapinarof – a treatment “under development” for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Dermavent will make an initial payment of $200 million, and a future milestone payment of “about” $130 million.

GlaxoSmithKline’s share price has risen by 18% year to date

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Source: Yahoo Finance

A spokeswoman for GSK made the following comment over the deal: “This was the result of a strategic decision to no longer focus on developing assets that are topical and exclusively a dermatology medicine. We have been exploring opportunities to divest or partner such medicines to realize their potential value for patients and, through this process, selected Roivant and Dermavant for tapinarof.”

The deal will close later this year, and it’s the latest move in a strategic winnowing of GSK’s assets, as CEO Emma Walmsley looks to make her stamp on the company. Walmsley has made no secret of the fact that she wants to divest drugs that – despite being valuable – don’t play into areas she consider the “real winners”.

Chief amongst the areas Walmsley wants to focus on are Oncology (cancer killers – a segment her predecessor pulled GSK out of), HIV treatments, and respiratory disease medicines. To repurpose the company, Walmsley has not only sold off drugs, but brought in new senior executives and made a spate of deals with other big players.

Dominion holds GSK in its Global Trends Managed Fund.

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