Certainly the timing of his resignation and the pending contract renewal is open to speculation. I will speculate that Novartis will buy the CHTS business gor tge following reasons:
-A legal entity was established shortly after the merger that separated the CHTS IP and the Ion channel research.
-There was no synergy for the two companies and the objective of addressing pain and inflamation has remained with the company.
-One of Zalicuses board of directors that happens to run Novartis's investment fund has resigned has resigned coincidentally at the time of negotiations to renew the collaborative contract which would set up the BOD to consider a sale without any conflicts of interest.
-Novartis will gain valuable partners in the process and eliminate the need to share royalty payments. It will also eliminate any IP concerns.
This was the plan all along for the Neuromed/Combinatorx merger.
Oh. I really can't say there was no synergy. They took the building in Cambridge so they can eat lunch with Amgen, laid off folks in Canada, closed down the office, and created more relationships to advance their ICBs.