In selling 3 businesses, Viatris bids adieu to 10 manufacturing plants, 6,000 employees

As Viatris looks to reestablish itself as a focused eye care company, the company is slimming down by shedding its over-the-counter, women’s healthcare and active pharmaceutical ingredient businesses.

At the same time, the company is hauling in billions of dollars in cash. With the deals, the company plans to transfer up to 12 facilities and more than 6,000 employees to the new owners of the businesses.

Sunday, Viatris said it accepted an offer from Cooper Consumer Health to sell off its OTC business, plus manufacturing sites in France and Italy and an R&D site in Italy.

That portfolio is netting up to $2.17 billion. The deal doesn’t include popular erectile dysfunction med Viagra nor the nasal spray Dymista plus “other select OTC assets," the company said.

The OTC deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024.

Viatris also inked a deal to sell its API business in India to IQuest Enterprises. The business features six manufacturing sites and an R&D lab. That deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. 

Further, Spanish multinational pharma Insud Pharma will take on Viatris’ women healthcare business in a deal that’s also expected to close in the first quarter of 2024. Insud will also get two manufacturing facilities.

The latter two deals are worth a combined $1.2 billion. In all, Viatris said its total "non-core" divestitures were valued at $3.6 billion.

Before these sales, Viatris last year exited the biosimilar field by selling its unit to partner Biocon Biologics 

The divestitures stand to “substantially simplify” Viatris, including its workforce. More than 6,000 employees are set to leave the drugmaker with the most recent deals.

With the moves, phase 1 of the company’s return to growth strategy is complete, enabling the company to move into its next strategic phase in 2024, CEO Scott Smith said in a statement.

Phase 2 involves growing Viatris' ophthalmology franchise and offsetting base business erosion through its pipeline of complex injectable generics.

If all goes to plan, Viatris plans to pick up $1 billion in eye care sales by 2028. Bolstering the goal are the drugmaker's recent buys of ophthalmology specialists Oyster Point Pharma and Famy Life Sciences for up to $750 million.

Just recently, the company scored an FDA nod for its Ocuphire-partnered Ryzumvi, which treats pharmacologically induced mydriasis, or pupil dilation, and is expected to be available in the U.S. over the first half of next year.

Ocuphire originally entered the licensing agreement with Famy Life Sciences before Viatris took over Famy.