I think it's safe to say that Novartis
In the first deal, Novartis is acquiring the rights to the compound agomelatine from France's Servier. Agomelatine seems to have similar efficacy to Wyeth's
It's not the drug's sales potential that makes this little deal interesting to me, but what the agreement says about the potential "Wal-Mart-ization" of the biotech world. Can smaller companies continue to compete and develop drugs in today's environment, or are they destined to be a sort of preclinical outsourcing service that needs major-company partnerships to see drugs actually hit the market?
Novartis also exercised its right to acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals'
Last and not least, Novartis announced that it would collaborate with SGX Pharmaceuticals
These are all reasonable deals for Novartis, but the long-term nature of drug development leads me to believe that they don't significantly change the company's outlook. If you liked Novartis before, which I did, this is a positive incremental step in pipeline-building. If you didn't like Novartis before, there really isn't much here that I imagine would change your mind.
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).