• Reuters/bloomberg/kyodo

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Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd has agreed to sell its dry eye drug to Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG for $3.4 billion and potential milestone payments of up to $1.9 billion, in the first divestment since its takeover of the U.K.’s Shire.

Japan’s biggest drugmaker aims to dispose of $10 billion worth of assets to cut debt taken on for the $62 billion Shire acquisition sealed in January, which catapulted it into the world’s top 10 drugmakers by sales but also made it one of the most indebted.

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