AstraZeneca Sells Rights to Respiratory Drugs
AstraZeneca, the British-Swedish pharma major, is selling rights outside the US for the respiratory drugs Alvesco, Omnaris, and Zetonna. Buyer is Zug, Switzerland-based Covis Pharma, which acquired the US rights for last year.
Under the deal expected to be completed by the end of this year, Covis Pharma will pay AstraZeneca $350 million in addition to conditional sales-related payments of up to $21 million over four years starting in 2019. The three medicines had combined sales revenue of $106 million in 2017.
The transaction does not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca’s employees or facilities.
Alvesco, an inhaled anti-inflammatory maintenance therapy, is delivered by a metered-dose inhaler to help control persistent asthma, while Omnaris and Zetonna are nasal sprays for the treatment of symptoms associated with seasonal allergic and allergic/non-allergic perennial rhinitis.
Common to all three is the active ingredient ciclesonide, a synthetic corticosteroid that helps relieve inflammation.
Mark Mallon, AstraZeneca's executive vice president of global product and portfolio strategy, said the sale reflects company’s plans to divest parts of its portfolio in order to allocate resources toward developing new medicines that address unmet patient needs.