GlaxoSmithKline to maximise value by divesting Wellbutrin XL rights

Pharmaceutical Company Financials

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is aiming to maximise its value via the divestment of the full commercial rights to Wellbutrin XL.

The group announced this week it had entered into an agreement with Biovail International Laboratories for this, with the deal worth $510 million (337 million pounds).

Deirdre Connelly is president of North American Pharmaceuticals at GSK and said the transaction was one of many intended to make the most of the company's assets, which in turn will enable investment in new products.

"We are actively reshaping our US business and managing the transition occurring in our product portfolio," she explained.

Wellbutrin XL is used in adults as a once-a-day treatment for depression and seasonal affective disorder, and sales for the first quarter of this year totalled 45 million pounds. Outside the US this figure reached 7 million pounds.

The divestment is subject to clearance but, as a result of the development, GSK forecasts a pre-tax gain of 340 million pounds in other operating income.

The product's existing rights for countries outside the US excluding Canada will be retained by GSK.

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