GSK divests line of rare disease drugs

GlaxoSmithKline divested its portfolio of rare disease gene therapies to Orchard Therapeutics through a strategic agreement, the company announced April 12.

Through the deal, GSK will receive a 19.9 percent stake in Orchard, a seat on the company's board and a small upfront payment of an undisclosed amount. The drugmaker will also receive future royalties and milestone payments for the rare disease drugs transferred to Orchard.

The divestiture stems from CEO Emma Walmsley's vow to trim down GSK's product portfolio. Ms. Walmsley launched a strategic review of the rare diseases unit last July to help narrow the company's research focus and boost returns for GSK's core drug business. Following the divestiture, GSK will focus research and development efforts on cell and gene therapies for oncology.

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