• by bcarlson@marketresearch.com
  • November 19 2013
  • novartis


Grifols Boosts Presence in the Family Business, Blood IVD

Grifols Boosts Presence in the Family Business, Blood IVD

A large pharma/IVD concern, overextended into too many areas, has handed off a business unit to an experienced niche player.  Novartis has sold it’s blood testing business to Spain-based Grifols, Inc. for 1.7 billion.   The buyer is no stranger to the blood market.  The company has a rich history dating to the development of plasmapheresis by Dr. Josep Antoni Grifols in 1951, and has continued to innovate. The company  introduced NAT testing to detect hepatitis C (HCV) virus in plasma fractionation pools, two years before it became compulsory in 1997.

Blood Testing is a market over 2 billion dollars, according to Kalorama Information’s report.

A variety of infectious agents can be present in blood, including viruses (e.g., HIV-1, hepatitis B and C, HTLV, West Nile virus), bacteria, protozoans, Chagas disease, Lyme Disease and prions (e.g., the agent of variant Crueutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is the human form of mad cow disease). As of 2013, the main residual risk is due to hepatitis B virus - ranging from 10 in Spain to 1.6 per million donations in France and Germany - although other conditions such as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) or HIV may pose high risk in certain regions.

From the NY Times article. 

Details of the financial performance of the Novartis division, which tests blood for diseases including H.I.V., were not clear. Yet Grifols believed the deal, which was being financed by Nomura, would allow it to scale its own diagnostics business.

In addition to its partnership with Grifols, the Novartis diagnostics division also works with Johnson & Johnson and with Hologic. Both Johnson & Johnson and Hologic approved the sale to Grifols. The deal was in the works for more than nine months and was negotiated on an exclusive basis.