AstraZeneca continues fire sale
- AstraZeneca announced Tuesday morning it is selling U.S. rights to branded and authorized generic beta-blocker Toprol-XL (metoprolol succinate) to Aralez Pharmaceuticals.
- Aralez will pay $175 million upfront for the rights to the pill and the authorized generic marketed by Par Pharmaceuticals. The smaller company will also pay $48 million in sales milestones and mid-teen royalties on sales.
- The deal is expected to close before the end of the year and AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture the heart drug. Sales of the authorized generic totaled $89 million last year.
The licensing deal comes just one day after AstraZeneca announced it was selling off rights to its IL-23 monoclonal antibody for the treatment of inflammatory conditions to Allergan for $250 million upfront and $1.27 billion in potential milestones.
Both the sales are part of a re-focusing by the British pharma, which set lofty revenue goals for itself when fending off Pfizer's advances several years ago.
While the $45 billion sales goal had sounded lofty at the time, analysts and investors haven't become any more optimistic since.
Still, the company has been making every effort to stick to a strategy of investing only in key therapeutic area, including oncology, respiratory, autoimmune diseases, and cardio-metabolic.
The new deal also aligns with its business development strategy of selling off non-core assets that don't fit into those therapeutic categories, as well as legacy products. This externalization strategy has led the British pharma to bolster revenues through licensing deals and to farm out some research.
- AstraZeneca Statement
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