Roche 'extremely open' to talks with Novartis: report

The head of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche is open to renewed cooperation with competitor Novartis, he told the Financial Times in an interview published Tuesday.

"If the right opportunity comes up, we would be extremely open to talk with Novartis, as we would be with other players," Severin Schwan told the British financial daily.

"If it makes sense for both companies, why not sit together and talk? It's a very professional relationship we have with Novartis," he added.

Alliances in the pharmaceutical industry are becoming increasingly important as the cost of developing new drugs continues to rise.

Novartis holds a 33-percent stake in Roche, but the company remains under family control.

Schwan's comments come as leadership in the two giants has undergone dramatic shifts.

Last month, Roche announced that Lufthansa chief Christoph Franz would be proposed to take over as board chairman, while Joerg Reinhardt took the reins of Novartis in August from Daniel Vasella, who spent 17 years in the driving seat.

The outgoing Vasella did not hide his belief that a merger of the two companies could make sense.

It never happened though, and Roche has remained firmly in the hands of family shareholders, who own 50 percent of the , and many market observers have speculated Novartis might give up the strategic stake.

Schwan however said Tuesday the two companies had not discussed the future of the Novartis holdings in Roche.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Lufthansa boss quits for Roche pharmaceuticals (Update)

Sep 16, 2013

The head of German airline Lufthansa, Christoph Franz, will step down at the end of his current contract in May 2014 to head the board of directors at Roche pharmaceutical group, the companies announced on Monday.

Recommended for you

Pyridoxine-doxylamine drug safety data lacking

Apr 16, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—The most commonly prescribed drug for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness in their first trimester does not prevent birth defects even though drug safety data says it does, according to research ...

FDA approves new type 2 diabetes drug

Apr 15, 2014

(HealthDay)—Millions of Americans with type 2 diabetes have a new treatment option with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval Tuesday of a once-weekly injectable drug, Tanzeum.

User comments