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Novartis Acquires Selexys Pharmaceuticals Corporation, SelG1 Antibody for Pain Reduction in Sickle Cell Disease

Novartis (No. 2 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) announced it has acquired Selexys Pharmaceuticals Corporation, a company specializing in development of therapeutics in certain hematologic and inflammatory disorders.


Novartis exercised its right to acquire Selexys following receipt of results of the SUSTAIN study, a Phase II trial evaluating the use of SelG1, an anti-P-selectin antibody, in the reduction of vaso-occlusive pain crises in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Results from the study will be presented during the Plenary Scientific Session at the 58thAmerican Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting on Dec. 4, 2016, in San Diego, Calif.

“Sickle cell disease affects millions of people around the world and there are limited therapies available for treatment of vaso-occlusive pain crises, a very common complication of the disease,” said Bruno Strigini, CEO of Novartis Oncology. “With this acquisition, Novartis is able to leverage its leadership in hematology research to advance development of a potential new treatment option for patients living with this debilitating condition.”

SCD is a hereditary blood disorder characterized by sickle-shaped red blood cells. It is a life-long disease with many forms that can range in clinical severity from asymptomatic to life-threatening. Vaso-occlusive crises, or pain crises, are the major reason for health care encounters in SCD and occur episodically when sickle-shaped red blood cells block blood flow through blood vessels.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to all of the dedicated patients, physicians and nurses who participated in the SUSTAIN study of SelG1 in sickle cell disease,” said Dr. Scott Rollins, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Selexys Pharmaceuticals. “Further, the acquisition of Selexys by Novartis represents an important step in the continued development of SelG1, a novel, potential first-in-class therapy for patients with this underserved life-threatening disease.”

Novartis obtained the exclusive right to acquire Selexys and SelG1 in 2012. Prior to the acquisition, Selexys Pharmaceutical Corporation was a privately held biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Terms of the deal could total up to $665 million in upfront, acquisition and milestone payments.

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