GSK’s evolving business model
With GlaxoSmithKline’s new CEO Emma Walmsley presenting her first quarterly results since taking on the new role, investors were seeking signs of her intentions for the company. A renewed focus and attention to the pharmaceuticals business were the highlights, including the planned divestment of selected R&D and on-market assets as well as a strategic review of the rare diseases unit.
In an article in The Daily Telegraph, Novasecta Managing Partner John Rountree noted that “GSK spends a lower proportion of its total pharmaceuticals revenue on R&D, at 15.4pc, than its main FTSE 100 rival AstraZeneca’s 27.6pc”, and that “It all emphasises the importance the new GSK executive team puts on stability and long-term performance, rather than high-risk and high-reward R&D.” He further added that “It does not fit as well with a view that GSK will be a magnet for developing game-changing pharmaceutical R&D innovation.”
Regarding the rare diseases unit, John’s view was that GSK’s potential sale of its rare diseases activities “will ultimately be good for patients”, explaining: “Investors that are more interested in high-upside with risk can take on this unit and give it more focus and space than is currently possible under GSK.”