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AZ agrees to $320m deal for Zoladex

TerSera Therapeutics acquires rights to oncology drug in US and Canada
AZ

AstraZeneca has sold the rights to its big-selling cancer drug Zoladex in Canada and the US to TerSera Therapeutics, as the UK firm moves to focus on its newer oncology products.

The deal, which is expected to close by the end of March, will see AZ receive a $250m upfront payment for the rights, with double-digit quarterly sales-based payments ongoing. A further $70m is also up for grabs should Zoladex (goserelin acetate implant) meet a series of sales-related milestones.

Mark Mallon, executive vice president of global product and portfolio strategy at AZ, said: “This agreement allows us to retain a significant share of the value of Zoladex in the US and Canada, while concentrating our resources on our innovative new oncology medicines.

“It also ensure patients have continued access to Zoladex, with TerSera's dedicated focus helping to expand the potential of this important medicine.”

AZ will continue to manufacture Zoladex at its production facility in Macclesfield, Cheshire - the site having recently received a £120m investment injection - ensuring the ongoing supply of the drug for patients across the US and Canada.

Zoladex is an injectable luteinising hormone-releasing hormone agonist, used for the treatment of prostate cancer and breast cancer as well as various benign gynaecological disorders.

Once AZ's biggest-selling oncology therapy, Zoladex has seen falling sales in recent years, having brought in $996m in global sales in 2015 - a 4% decrease from the previous year - and a total of $816m in 2016.

The company is now focusing on its newer cancer medicines, with chief executive Pascal Soriot marking 2017 as a “defining year” for the firm's pipeline.

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) drug Tagrisso (osimertinib) delivered sales of $423m in its first year on the market, and immuno-oncology hopeful durvalumab is due for regulatory verdicts later on in the year.

Analysts have already marked durvalumab as a potential blockbuster, with sales peaking at almost $3bn by 2020, while Tagrisso is forecast to bring in $2bn with the help of new NSCLC approvals and an anticipated first-line indication ruling.

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

20th February 2017

From: Sales

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