Gene-therapy company with research ties to Columbus sold to Novartis for $8.7 billion

Story excerpt provided by The Columbus Dispatch. Written by Marla Matzer Rose.

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis is buying AveXis, a gene-therapy company with ties to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Novartis said Monday it will pay $8.7 billion for AveXis, based in the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Illinois. The boards of AveXis and Novartis have already approved the deal, which is expected to close in mid-2018. The tender offer for $218 per share represents an 88 percent premium from AveXis’ closing price in Nasdaq trading on Friday. Nationwide Children’s and OSU received single-digit percentage ownership stakes in AveXis as part of their collaboration with the company.

According to Gina Bericchia, a Nationwide Children’s spokeswoman, the hospital’s shares in AveXis “were managed by an independent broker, established to manage institutional conflicts of interest and insider trading considerations. These shares were liquidated in entirety in 2017. Earnings of approximately $36 million were realized.”

Once the drug is approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Nationwide Children’s also would receive royalty revenue from it.

Click here to read the complete article. Originally published April 9, 2018.

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