GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) has inked a deal to divest its rare disease gene therapy portfolio to Orchard Therapeutics, the blue-chip pharmco has said. The news comes after the UK drugmaker recently announced that it was buying Novartis’ stake in their consumer health joint venture.
GSK’s share price has inched higher in London in today’s session, having added 0.18 percent to 1,439.80p as of 10:33 BST. The group’s shares are marginally outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark currently standing at 7,256.76 points, flat in percentage terms.
GSK trims portfolio
GSK announced in a statement this morning that it had inked a deal with Orchard Therapeutics under which the London-listed drugmaker will transfer its portfolio of approved and investigational rare disease gene therapies to UK-based Orchard. Under the agreement, the UK group will become an investor in Orchard Therapeutics, receiving a 19.9-percent equity stake along with a seat on the company’s board.
The FTSE 100 group will also receive financial considerations in the form of royalties and commercial milestone payments related to the acquired portfolio. A GSK spokesman told Reuters that the company would also receive a small upfront payment, the size of which is not being disclosed.
The FTSE 100 drugmaker explained that the divestment followed its strategic review of the rare disease unit, as part of the company’s prioritisation and strengthening of its pharmaceuticals pipeline with a focus on priority programmes in two current therapy areas, respiratory and HIV/infectious diseases, and two potential areas, oncology and immuno-inflammation.
Analyst ratings update
Kepler Capital Markets reiterated its ‘hold’ rating on GSK today, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip pharmco currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 1,527.25p.