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AZ adds to respiratory portfolio with Actavis drugs

Follows deal to acquire Almirall’s franchise in asthma and COPD

Actavis headquarters

AstraZeneca has expanded its presence in respiratory disease with the $700m acquisition of Actavis' portfolio in the US and Canada.

It follows a similar deal agreed in July last year for AZ to buy the global respiratory portfolio of Almirall for $2bn, including the approved Eklira (aclidinium) for COPD and several investigational medicines such as a long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA)

The Actavis deal adds two drugs for COPD to AZ's growing respiratory business. Tudorza Pressair (aclidinium bromide inhalation powder) is a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) Tudorza Pressair (aclidinium bromide inhalation powder) and Daliresp (roflumilast) is a once-daily oral PDE4 inhibitor.

According to AZ the two products had combined annual sales in the US of around $230m in 2014 and should help boost flagging revenues for AZ, which were below expectations for the past year.

Paul Hudson, the head of AZ's North America business, said: “With the addition of Tudorza and Daliresp, we will benefit from an immediate boost to revenue in our biggest market, further strengthening our growing respiratory franchise.”

AZ will pay an initial fee of $600m to Actavis with an additional $100m to be paid at a later stage. Actavis will also receive royalties once sales of the COPD drugs reach a certain threshold.

In addition to the two approved drugs AZ also gains the rights to develop LAS40464, a combination of a fixed dose of aclidinium with formoterol long acting beta agonist (LAMA/LABA).

The drug is already approved in the EU under the brand name Duaklir Genuair but is yet to make it through the US' regulatory system.

AZ's respiratory portfolio already includes drugs such as Symbicort and Pulmicort and the company is committed to making respiratory one of its three main areas of focus alongside diabetes and oncology.

Article by
Thomas Meek

6th February 2015

From: Sales

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