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Novartis says to pay up to $665 mln for U.S. blood disease drugmaker

ZURICH Nov 21 Novartis said on Monday it was buying U.S.-based Selexys Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth up to $665 million, as the Swiss drugmaker expands its pipeline of medicines to combat blood diseases.

Novartis exercised its right to acquire Selexys after a phase II trial evaluating the Oklahoma City-based company's investigational medicine SelG1, aimed at reducing vaso-occlusive pain crises in patients with sickle cell disease.

Such crises occur in adolescent and adult patients where sickled red blood cells obstruct circulation in blood vessels.

(Reporting by John Miller)

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