Novartis, a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company, based in Switzerland, has purchased the rights to a multiple sclerosis medication from British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
According to sources, the Swiss pharma will handle the worldwide development and commercialization of the drug - Ofatumumab - for use in multiple sclerosis.
The company officials say it is ready to push ahead with all-important phase III clinic trials. Ofatumumab is already widely available from Novartis, but as a cancer drug rather than as a treatment for MS.
Novartis, earlier this year, brought the rights from GlaxoSmithKline to sell Ofatumumab to treat chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
Sources add that the new deal gives Novartis the right to use Ofatumumab to treat any medical conditions.
For GSK, the deal is part of a strategy to return the business to growth and reverse the trend of the past few years of falling revenues and profits.
The company said the sale of Ofatumumab had 'crystalised' significant value for GSK shareholders.