Pfizer to buy GlaxoSmithKline's meningitis vaccines Nimenrix, Mencevax

GlaxoSmithKline agreed to divest its quadrivalent meningitis ACWY vaccines Nimenrix and Mencevax to Pfizer for a total of approximately $130 million, the companies reported Monday. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.

The UK drugmaker indicated that the sale follows commitments given to the European Commission and other regulators in connection with a transaction earlier this year under which it acquired Novartis' non-influenza vaccines business, including the meningitis ACWY vaccine Menveo and the meningococcal serogroup B vaccine Bexsero. Nimenrix and Mencevax, which are sold outside the US, generated combined global sales in 2014 of 34 million pounds ($54 million).

Pfizer noted that Nimenrix was launched three years ago and is currently registered and approved for sale in 61 countries across Europe and emerging markets, as well as in Canada and Australia. Further registrations for the product, which is indicated for all age groups above one year of age, are under review in another 18 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Meanwhile, Mencevax is currently approved in 79 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, in addition to Australia and New Zealand. The vaccine is indicated for use in all age groups as of two years of age.

"Adding these two innovative and complementary vaccines to our current portfolio will allow us to more completely respond to meningococcal disease outbreaks, as well as proactively address a critical public health need," commented Susan Silbermann, president of Pfizer's vaccines unit. Pfizer currently markets the meningococcal group B vaccine Trumenba in the US, and last year acquired NeisVac-C from Baxter for protection against serogroup C meningococcal disease.

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