Takeda Pharmaceutical has announced the sizeable first sale in its proposed £10 billion-worth of assets to offset the debt it took on during its acquisition of Shire. The company announced it was divesting eye drug Xiidra to Novartis for $5.3bn total, and its TachoSil Fibrin Sealant Patch to Ethicon for $400 million in case.

Xiidra is the only FDA-approved prescription treatment for both signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, with net sales in 2018 of $388 million. TachoSil achieves fast, reliable bleeding control, and in 2018 made around $155 million for Takeda.

Takeda said the divestitures will also allow the company to better focus certain business areas vital to its long-term growth. The acquisition of Shire gave the company a much stronger focus on rare diseases, particularly outside the US market. Takeda now intends to focus on key business areas including gastroenterology, plasma-derived therapies, oncology and neuroscience.

In addition to the divestiture of its drugs, Takeda will be transferring 480 US- and Canada-based employees to Novartis and Ethicon, according to the deal terms. The deal will close in the second half of 2019.

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