Novartis sells off blood diagnostics division

Swiss-based company Novartis has agreed to sell off its blood transfusion diagnostics unit to Spanish blood products specialist Grifols for $1.7 billion (£1 billion). The sale will allow the company to ‘focus more sharply on [its] strategic businesses’, according to chief executive Joseph Jimenez.

Novartis acquired the blood diagnostics unit when it bought Chiron in 2006. The main point of that acquisition was to kick start their vaccine development programme. Novartis has since developed new influenza vaccines that can be produced faster than methods based on chicken eggs, for example.

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