In splitting from Novartis, Sandoz makes muted market debut

After more than a year of preparation, Sandoz has officially parted ways with Swiss drug giant Novartis. But the company's day-one valuation lagged what some analysts had projected.

The drugmaker debuted on the SIX Swiss Exchange at a valuation of 10.3 billion Swiss francs ($11.2 billion), according to Reuters. Analysts had previously published expected ranges of $11 billion to $26 billion for the company, the news service reports.

Still, the spinoff comes as stock indices around the world have been in retreat in recent weeks.

Sandoz debuts as a generic and biosimilar powerhouse. The company believes the industry is positioned to grow “steadily” over the next decade because of “underlying demand," the company said in a press release.

When Novartis announced the official separation date of Oct. 4, it proposed a stock distribution scheme, offering shareholders one Sandoz share for every five Novartis shares they own. 

Novartis first shared plans to split the company back in August 2022.

In anticipation of the spinoff, Sandoz has been busy striking deals and making capital investments.

Last month, the company inked a deal to commercialize Samsung Bioepis’ biosimilar version of Johnson & Johnson’s blockbuster immunology med Stelara. Through the agreement, Sandoz has commercialization rights to the product in the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, the U.K., and several countries in Europe.

Including the Stelera biosimilar, the company is looking forward to five “potential high-value upcoming launches over the next few years,” CEO Richard Saynor said in a statement at the time. Those include biosimilars to Biogen’s Tysabri and Regeneron and Bayer’s Eylea.

Sandoz also recently committed $90 million to a new biosimilar technical development center in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where it will hire 200 people. The new site will be “key” to its biosimilar development and include end-to-end drug substance and drug product development, the company said at the time.