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Novartis Staying Conscious of Cost in Challenging Deal Market

  • Flood of cash has pushed up prices, company dealmaker says
  • ‘Timing is everything’ in the search for right M&A candidates

Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG has said it expects to bring a series of potential blockbuster treatments to market over the next few years, but like many of its fellow pharmaceutical giants, it is under persistent pressure to restock its pipeline.

Flush with the proceeds of selling its stake in Roche Holding AG, Novartis said last year it will buy back as much as $15 billion of its shares. But it has continued to snatch up targets, such as ocular gene therapy company Gyroscope Therapeutics. And last week, Novartis partnered with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. to develop a liver-disease treatment.