AstraZeneca offloads more non-core assets
- AstraZeneca has inked a new deal that unloads European rights to one of the big drugmaker's cardiovascular products to Recordati S.p.A.
- The Italian pharma is paying $300 million upfront for access to Seloken (metoprolol tartrate) — a beta-blocker approved in Europe for several indications, including hypertension and heart failure — and its extended release version Seloken ZOK (metoprolol succinate). In the U.S. the product is marketed as Toprol-XL. Recordati has also agreed to give AstraZeneca tiered royalties on sales of the drugs, starting in the double-digit range.
- Meanwhile, AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture the medications per a supply agreement. Seloken/Toprol XL brought in revenues of $737 million during 2016, according to AstraZeneca's most recent annual report.
As part of Pascal Soriot's aim to hit $45 billion of revenues by 2023, AstraZeneca is refocusing, with a greater emphasis on core therapeutic areas like oncology, respiratory, cardio-metabolic and autoimmune diseases.
At the same time, AstraZeneca has been selling off non-core assets — a strategy designed to boost revenues in the short term as generic competition eats into sales of top-earners. The company's early-stage oral DPP-1 inhibitor AZD7986, for instance, has gone to Insmed; the branded and authorized generic forms of Toprol-XL (metoprolol succinate) were sold to Aralez Pharmaceuticals; and the Phase 2 IL-23 monoclonal antibody MEDI2070 is now with Allergan.
Perhaps the biggest transaction has been the $1.6 billion sale of the company's antibiotics portfolio to Pfizer. While nowhere near that size, the new deal with Recordati continues the trend of trading non-core compounds for immediate cash.
"This agreement allows us to concentrate our resources on bringing multiple new medicines to patients," Mark Mallon, head of AstraZeneca's global product & portfolio strategy, said in a May 22 statement. "Recordati’s expertise in cardiovascular disease and established European salesforce will help to expand the commercial potential of the Seloken brands, which are mature medicines for the new AstraZeneca."
- AstraZeneca Press release
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