In an antitrust agreement reached last week, the Federal Trade Commission will allow Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz to merge after the Swiss companies agree to license gene therapy technology and patent rights to Rhone-Poulenc Rorer.
Shareholders and Swiss and European authorities have already approved the marriage of the pharmaceutical giants to form Novartis.
The FTC required the gene therapy arrangement as well as divestiture of several other product lines to ensure adequate competition in key markets.
Company officials announced that Novartis would be formally created as of late last week and start trading on the Swiss stock market this week.
The company would have $80 billion in assets and annual sales of about $26.5 billion. Novartis would become the world's second-largest pharmaceutical company, trailing only British-based Glaxo-Wellcome.