Novartis, GSK reveal huge deals

The string of takeovers and ventures involves three giant healthcare groups and will affect several areas of healthcare, and also animal welfare, in the fast-changing global health sector, including markets in emerging economies.

Novartis said on Tuesday it would buy GSK's oncology business for $17.07 billion in cash and will sell its vaccines division, excluding vaccines for flu, to the British company for up to $7.6 billion, also in cash.

Novartis said the acquisition would hand it ownership over a range of top-line cancer drugs, expanding its position in targeted therapies, and among making it a world leader in treating melanoma, or skin cancer.

The GSK oncology products going to Novartis generated about $1.7 billion in sales last year.

The two companies also announced a joint venture to create "a world-leading consumer healthcare business," focused on wellness, oral health, nutrition and skin health and expected to pull in around $10.7