FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG is seen at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG said on Wednesday it agreed to acquire Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd’s dry eye drug Xiidra for $3.4 billion, as well as potential milestone payments of up to $1.9 billion, to expand its portfolio of eye care medicines.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2019, Novartis said in a statement.

Takeda said separately that the sale is part of its strategy to focus on business areas core to its long-term growth and cut down debt following its acquisition of Shire.

The Japanese company said it is also selling TachoSil, a surgical patch for bleeding