AstraZeneca continues to shed rights to gout drug
- AstraZeneca continues to license out its gout drug Zurampic, selling off commercial rights in Europe and Latin America to Germany-based Grünenthal for as much as $230 million if all milestones are hit, the company said Thursday.
- Grünenthal now has exclusive rights to Zurampic in all 28 European Union states, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein, as well as in all Latin American countries.
- In late April, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals paid AstraZeneca $100 million upfront for US rights to Zurampic, with the potential for another $165 million in milestone payments.
As in the deal with Ironwood, AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply Zurampic, although Grünenthal has the option to take over production starting in October 2021.
Grünenthal will also pay AstraZeneca low double-digit royalties of sales of Zurampic.
Externalization deals like these are part of AstraZeneca's strategy to generate revenues and focus on core therapeutic areas. When discussing first quarter results in April, the company said it would prioritize investment in oncology and more narrowly focus on its core therapeutic areas.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot has set an ambitious revenue goal of $45 billion by 2023 but faces declining revenues across several older drugs.
Analysts pegged peaked sales of Zurampic at $350 million when the drug was approved last December for the treatment of hyperuricemia associated with uncontrolled gout. Ironwood expects to see peak annual sales top $300 million in the U.S. alone.
Between the deals with Ironwood and now Grünenthal, AstraZeneca could see as much as $500 million in externalization revenue if all milestones in both deals are hit.