consumer health

GSK Chief Scientific Officer Hal Barron will depart in August to head San Francisco-based startup Altos Labs, the multinational announced Wednesday. He will be succeeded by Senior VP of Medicinal Science and Technology Tony Wood, a longtime Pfizer veteran.

The press release said Barron will remain on GSK’s board as he transitions to the $3 billion-funded biotech focused on cellular rejuvenation and reversing disease.

Barron’s move comes after less than five years on the job and…

Johnson & Johnson will spin off its consumer health assets as a new standalone company, the pharma giant announced last week.

Its remaining business segments (including pharmaceutical and medical device units) are expected to gross about $77 billion in 2021, while segments belonging to the “New Consumer Health Company” would gross around $15 billion, according to the press release.

J&J’s move follows similar plays by GSK, Merck, Pfizer and Sanofi.


GSK’s board defended the company’s performance last week in response to an open letter from activist investor Elliott Advisors complaining that “GSK has failed to capture business opportunities due to years of under-management.”

A company press release said major progress has been achieved to “improve performance, strengthen R&D productivity, enhance commercial execution, and to streamline GSK’s portfolio and cost base.” The board also pointed to “significant changes in culture and…

Corporate restructuring, clinical trial results, and a new business investment kept Sanofi in the news this week.

First, the company announced Monday that as part of its “ongoing efforts to reduce the complexity of its Consumer Healthcare portfolio and accelerate its growth trajectory,” it will offload 16 products to Germany’s STADA Arzneimittel. Neither firm disclosed deal terms.

The same day, Sanofi announced that its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) single-dose monoclonal…

Amid pressure from activist investors, GSK on Wednesday offered details on longstanding plans to “demerge” its consumer healthcare arm into a separately listed company. Set for mid-2022, the spinoff will include a one-time dividend paid to the parent entity—restyled as a growth-focused drugs and vaccines behemoth dubbed “New GSK”—of up to $11.2 billion.

Flush with funds, New GSK will concentrate on R&D and commercial investments across four core therapeutic areas (infectious…

GSK told media last week that it has sold its 5.7% stake in Unilever’s India business for $3.4 billion—India’s largest block trade, according to Reuters. The British company received the shares when it finalized the sale of its Horlicks hot drink brand and additional consumer assets in India and other Asian markets to Unilever last month.

The transaction is a part of GSK’s two-year plan to spin off consumer health from its core prescription drugs and vaccine business.


Merck announced today that it plans to spin off its women’s health, biosimilar drugs and legacy products into a new, unnamed company as it tightens its focus on “key growth drivers” like oncology and vaccines. The assets represent $6.5 billion of the roughly $50 billion in sales the company expects in 2020.

In other spinoff news, GSK announced today during its full-year earnings call that it has initiated a two-year separation program to divide into two companies, one an R&D-…

Paul Hudson took Sanofi’s helm from retiring CEO Olivier Brandicourt on Monday, using media interviews to lay out his vision for boosting R&D success and combating the long-flagging share price of the French company.

The 51-year-old, British-born former head of Novartis pharma told Bloomberg that his most promising commercial opportunities are treatments for multiple myeloma, breast cancer and rare blood disorders and a respiratory syncytial virus vaccine. Hudson will closely…

GSK and Pfizer announced last week that they have closed the deal merging their consumer health units.

GSK announced last December that it intends to run the joint venture as the 68 percent-majority shareholder, with plans to spin off the business into an independent entity within three years.

The European Commission announced last week it had given the go-ahead for GSK and Pfizer to merge their consumer health units. The two companies agreed to divest Pfizer’s ThermaCare pain therapy brand to gain antitrust clearance.

In other GSK news, FiercePharma reported this week that the company is expected to name Jonathan Symonds, previously chief financial officer at Novartis and AstraZeneca, as its new chairman—replacing Philip Hampton, who announced his intention to step down in…