AstraZeneca Plc (LON:AZN) announced the completion of agreement to divest the prescription medicine rights to Nexium (esomeprazole) in Europe, as well as the global rights (excluding the US and Japan) to Vimovo (naproxen/esomeprazole) to Grünenthal.
Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca has received payments of $700m for Nexium and $115m for Vimovo from Grünenthal. The upfront payments, net of an appropriate derecognition of an intangible asset related to Vimovo (see below) will be reported within Other Operating Income & Expense in the Company’s financial statements in the fourth quarter of 2018.
AstraZeneca will continue to commercialise Nexium in all markets outside Europe, where the Company retains the rights. AstraZeneca will not retain any ownership rights to Vimovo globally.
Pursuant to Listing Rule 10.4.1R (notification of class 2 transactions), the book value of gross assets subject to the divestments was approximately $99 million at 31 December 2017. In the year to 31 December 2017 the aggregate pre-tax profits attributable to Nexium and Vimovo in the relevant territories were $203 million. The consideration will be satisfied in cash and the proceeds used for general corporate purposes.
Nexium (esomeprazole) is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcers, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. It is also used for the prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers induced by pain-relieving NSAIDs. Nexium is available in several formulations (Nexium gastro-resistant granules for oral suspension, Nexium gastro-resistant Multi-Unit Pellet System (Nexium MUPS) tablets, and Nexium injection/infusion) with varying approved indications. The rights to over-the-counter Nexium were externalised to Pfizer Consumer Health in 2012.
Vimovo (naproxen/esomeprazole) modified-release tablet is a fixed-dose combination of naproxen, a pain-relieving NSAID and esomeprazole, the active ingredient in Nexium. It is indicated for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis in patients who are at risk of developing NSAID-associated gastric ulcers and/or duodenal ulcers and where treatment with lower doses of naproxen or of other NSAIDs is not considered sufficient. The rights to Vimovo in the United States were externalised to Horizon Pharma in 2013.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism and Respiratory. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZeneca.