Welcome to the Big Leagues, Big Pharma

[prescription pills in a rising bar graph on $100 bills]

Welcome to the Big Leagues, Big Pharma (Bloomberg)

In a deal akin to the Boston Red Sox swapping players with the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers at the same time, three of the biggest “Big Pharmas” have agreed to a whopper of a deal. Novartis AG (NOVN) seems intent on reinventing itself, as the company has agreed to buy GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s (GSK) entire line of cancer drug assets for as much as $16 billion. In return, NOVN will sell its vaccine business (excluding flu assets) to GSK for $7.1 billion. NOVN has also agreed to sell its animal health operation to Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) for an additional $5.4 billion. Who knows how this Big Pharma three-way will reshape share prices for Novartis, Glaxo or Eli Lilly? Our guess? One of the three will make out like a bandit.

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