- AstraZeneca has signed a deal to sell the rights to three respiratory drugs to Switzerland-based Covis Pharma in exchange for $350 million upfront and $21 million in potential sales milestone payments, the big pharma announced Tuesday.
- Covis will get rights outside the U.S. and royalties in the U.S. for three formulations of ciclesonide: Alvesco for persistent asthma, and Omnaris and Zetonna for nasal symptoms associated with rhinitis.
- Combined 2017 product sales of Alvesco, Omnaris and Zetonna were $106 million. The deal is expected to complete by the end of the year and does not include any AstraZeneca facilities or staff.
Over the last few years, AstraZeneca has been on a mission to divest assets outside its core areas of oncology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolism, and respiratory.
“One of our strategic objectives is to divest parts of our portfolio, allowing us to allocate resources to develop innovative new medicines to address unmet patient needs," Mark Mallon, AstraZeneca's executive vice president of global product and portfolio strategy, said in a Nov. 6 statement.
Over the course of the year, the British pharma signed externalization deals that brought in just over $2.3 billion, including revenue from the Lynparza (olaparib) collaboration with Merck & Co.
In addition to this week's deal with Covis Pharma, AstraZeneca made another deal last week. That agrerement with Grünenthal covered Nexium (esomeprazole) in Europe and Vimovo (naproxen esomeprazole) worldwide outside the U.S. and Japan.
Combined, the two deals net $1.17 billion upfront and could be worth up to $1.29 billion.
These agreements include regular milestones, around a third of which are for approvals and two-thirds are sales-related. The remaining $500 million in option payments from Merck will also be due in 2018 and 2019, which should also boost AstraZeneca's revenues.