Recently in pharma news it was announced that Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis, a global healthcare company, has acquired Oklahoma City-based Selexys Pharmaceuticals, a company specializing in inflammatory and hematological disorders, for $665 million. According to news reports, Selexys was purchased following a Phase II trial focusing on the use of the anti-P-selectin antibody SelG1 for reducing the instance of vaso-occlusive crises in patients who suffer from SCD (sickle cell disease). Reports reveal study results will be presented in December at the American Society of Hematology.
According to Novartis Oncology CEO, Bruno Strigini, Novartis will be able to leverage the company’s hematology research leadership in an effort to advance the development of an innovative new treatment option for patients living with sickle cell disease, a condition that impacts millions of people globally and is a hereditary disease. One of the most concerning complications of SCD is pain or vaso-occlusive crises, a condition that may occur on occasion when the flow through the blood vessels is blocked due to sickle-shaped cells.
Selexys Pharmaceuticals CEO and former president of the company, Scott Rollins, Ph.D., said that Novartis’ purchase of Selexys represents an important step in the development of the first-in-class therapy, SelG1, for patients who suffer from the life-threatening disease and are often underserved. SDC affects approximately one to three million Americans and is found more often in African Americans and those of Indian, Mediterranean, or Middle Eastern descent due to the fact that people in these regions are more susceptible to malaria.
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