Haleon Shares Rise After GSK, Pfizer Indeminification Requests Rejected

By Scott Kanowsky 

Investing.com -- Shares in HALEON PLC (LON:HLN) edged higher after the consumer healthcare firm rejected requests for indemnification from GSK (LON:GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) over litigation in the U.S. related to the heartburn drug, Zantac.

In a statement, the U.K's Haleon - a spin-off comprised of assets previously owned by GSK and Pfizer - repeated its assertion made earlier this year that it was "not a party" to any claims made against Zantac.

"[T]he scope of the indemnities set out in the joint venture agreement only covers their consumer healthcare businesses as conducted when the JV was formed in 2018. At that time, neither GSK nor Pfizer marketed OTC Zantac in the US or Canada," Haleon said.

The business previously warned of risks stemming from the Zantac lawsuits in its prospectus ahead of its listing in July.

More than 2,000 personal injury cases purporting a connection between Zantac and cancer have been filed, with claimants accusing - among others - GSK and Pfizer of not adequately warning customers.

GSK has said that in-house research, as well as studies from the U.S. Food&Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency, have all found no evidence of a causal link between ranitidine - the active ingredient in Zantac - and the development of cancer in patients.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Haleon posted a 22.1% jump in first-half adjusted operating profit, as the maker of Sensodyne toothpaste and Advil painkillers was boosted by increased demand from households and geographic expansion. Over the six-month period, two-thirds of the firm's business gained or maintained market share, it said.

The group added that third quarter trading momentum was "positive," but will slow due to challenges posed by the impact of soaring inflation on consumer spending.

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