Bloomberg View article New Jersey’s New Jersey-based company zyduses Pharmaceuticals Inc. is one of a handful of pharmaceutical companies that have agreed to sell or divest stakes in at least four firms to help fight the virus.
The move comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared a public health emergency in the state after more than 1,000 people died in the U.S. from the virus, the deadliest outbreak in the country’s history.
Zyduses shares fell as much as 4% in premarket trading on Wednesday.
The company, based in Menomonee Falls, is the largest privately held drugmaker in the United States, with about 15% of its market capitalization.
Zymatics CEO Daniel Maresca said the company will divest stakes “if it is in the best interests of the company.”
He did not give an estimated price.
Maresca has made a name for himself as an outspoken critic of pharmaceutical makers and the U,S.
He has called for tighter restrictions on the sale of new drugs and for the Federal Trade Commission to intervene in the drug industry to force better disclosure about the risks and side effects of new products.
The company announced in September it was selling a stake in a U.K.-based drugmaker called Serco.
Serco is one a handful that have sold stakes in pharmaceutical companies after the CDC declared a national health emergency, including GlaxoSmithKline Plc, which sold its stake in Novartis AG to Pfizer Inc. and Pfizer.
Glaxo SmithKline’s stake in Serco was sold in January for $2.3 billion, and Pfizers sold its remaining stake in the company in August for $1.7 billion.
Sercoms shares fell 6.5% to $15.30 in after-hours trading.
Pfizer also owns a stake of about 4% of Serco, which it bought for $4.9 billion in December.
The CDC’s announcement came after a government watchdog released an interim report on Thursday finding that the use of the highly contagious Ebola virus had caused more than 300 deaths.
Zyduses had reported more than 100 deaths in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
In Sierra Leone, the government has declared a state of emergency.
“The company’s decision to divest or sell its stake does not necessarily reflect the company’s views, opinions or positions on any specific issue, and is consistent with our business strategy to operate in a responsible manner,” Maresco said in a statement.
Zygads shares fell by more than 4% after the announcement.
Zydes, which is based in the German city of Dusseldorf, has been buying up stakes in other companies to help stem the spread of the virus in the region, including Novartics and GlaxosmithKline.
It has about 15%, the company said in September.
The remaining stake is owned by an unnamed private equity firm.
The outbreak, which began with an outbreak of coronavirus in March, has killed about 2,600 people and forced more than 200,000 to flee their homes.