Novartis grabs two growth segments in one deal: Generic and cancer drugs

Swiss drug company Novartis AG (NVS) dove into the recent wave of pharma dealmaking today. The industry has been in consolidation mode as many drugs are due to come off patent in recent years, as competition from generics increases, and as pipelines at some drugmakers show little promise for future growth. Novartis' own blockbuster Diovan for high blood pressure is set to lose its patent in 2012, and like many Big Pharma players, it wants to get a bigger piece of the generic drug market.

Novartis said it agreed to acquire the specialty generic injectables business of Austrian Ebewe Pharma for $1.2 billion in cash. This would provide Sandoz -- Novartis' generic pharmaceuticals division -- an opportunity to create a strong global platform for future growth. According to Novartis, Cytotoxics (chemotherapy agents) will remain essential in anti-cancer therapy as the global oncology market is predicted to double to $60 billion by 2017.