As Viatris charts its course to reposition itself as a focused eye care enterprise, the company is streamlining its operations by divesting its over-the-counter (OTC), women’s healthcare, and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) businesses. In the process, Viatris is generating substantial cash influx. These strategic moves also involve the transfer of approximately 12 facilities and over 6,000 employees to the new owners of these businesses.
On Sunday, Viatris announced its acceptance of an offer from Cooper Consumer Health to sell its OTC business, along with manufacturing sites in France and Italy, and a research and development site in Italy. This portfolio is fetching up to $2.17 billion. Notably, the deal excludes the well-known erectile dysfunction medication Viagra and the nasal spray Dymista, in addition to “other select OTC assets.”
The OTC transaction is projected to conclude in the second quarter of 2024. Concurrently, Viatris has entered into an agreement to divest its API business in India to IQuest Enterprises, featuring six manufacturing sites and an R&D laboratory. This deal is anticipated to close in the first quarter of the coming year.
Furthermore, Viatris is transferring its women’s healthcare business to the Spanish multinational pharmaceutical company Insud Pharma, a transaction also slated for completion in the first quarter of 2024. Insud Pharma will also acquire two manufacturing facilities. These latter two transactions together amount to a combined $1.2 billion. Overall, Viatris values its total “non-core” divestitures at $3.6 billion.
Before these recent divestitures, Viatris had previously exited the biosimilar arena by selling its unit to its partner Biocon Biologics last year.
These divestiture efforts are expected to significantly simplify Viatris, including its workforce. More than 6,000 employees are set to transition away from the company as a result of these recent deals.
With these strategic moves, Viatris has accomplished the first phase of its return to growth strategy, positioning the company for its next strategic phase in 2024, as stated by CEO Scott Smith. Phase two of the strategy revolves around bolstering Viatris’ ophthalmology franchise and mitigating the erosion of its core business through a pipeline of complex injectable generics. The company’s ambitious target is to achieve $1 billion in eye care sales by 2028. Viatris is advancing toward this goal with recent acquisitions of ophthalmology specialists Oyster Point Pharma and Famy Life Sciences, with a combined investment of up to $750 million.
Furthermore, Viatris recently secured FDA approval for Ryzumvi, developed in partnership with Ocuphire, designed to treat pharmacologically induced mydriasis, or pupil dilation. This medication is expected to become available in the United States during the first half of the upcoming year. The licensing agreement for Ryzumvi was originally forged by Ocuphire with Famy Life Sciences before Viatris assumed ownership of Famy.