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AZ divests European rights for cholesterol med Crestor to Grünenthal

Grünenthal will pay up to $350m for the rights

AstraZeneca (AZ) is selling the rights to its cholesterol medication Crestor in the EU to German pharma company Grünenthal.

Grünenthal will gain the rights to Crestor (rosuvastatin) in the EU, excluding Spain and the UK, and its associated brands for a total consideration of up to $350m.

This includes an upfront payment of $320m as well as potential future milestone payments of up to $30m.

Crestor is a statin medication approved for the treatment of dyslipidaemia and hypercholesterolaemia, conditions that are characterised by the presence of high cholesterol levels in the blood.

The drug had previously been a blockbuster treatment for AZ, but the introduction of generic rivals in 2016 as well as newer cholesterol treatments has impacted its performance in recent years.

In 2019, Crestor generated product sales of $136m and profit before tax of $98m in the locations covered in the agreement.

AZ will continue to sell the drug in countries not included in the agreement, including North America, Japan and China. It will also continue to manufacture and supply Crestor to Grünenthal during the transition period.

“This agreement supports the management of our mature medicines to enable reinvestment into the pipeline and bringing new, innovative treatments to patients,” said Ruud Dobber, executive vice president, BioPharmaceuticals Business Unit, AZ.

“Grünenthal previously acquired the rights to several established AstraZeneca medicines and is well placed to ensure continued access to Crestor for patients across Europe,” he added.

The divestment deal is part of AZ’s strategy of re-focusing its attention on its pipeline, which includes an experimental vaccine for COVID-19.

Last month, AZ announced that the Oxford University-partnered vaccine candidate AZD1222 demonstrated an average efficacy of 70%, with up to 90% efficacy in a subgroup who received a half dose regimen of the shot.

In October, AZ also divested the commercial rights to its heart failure and hypertension treatments Atacand (candesartan cilexetil) and Atacand Plus (a fixed-dose combination of candesartan cilexetil and hydrochlorothiazide) in around 70 countries to Cheplapharm.

This deal saw AZ gain a $400m payout, $250m of which is set to be payable on completion of the transaction and the remainder in the first half of 2021.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

1st December 2020

From: Sales

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