(Bloomberg) -- Novartis AG plans to separate its oncology unit from its pharmaceuticals division in a move that highlights its focus on cancer drugs following the purchase of assets from GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

Pharmaceutical head David Epstein will leave Novartis following these changes, the Swiss drugmaker said in a statement on Tuesday. The new pharmaceuticals division will be run by Paul Hudson, and the oncology unit will be run by Bruno Strigini, with both executives joining the executive committee from July 1.

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