AstraZeneca (LON: AZN) has agreed to sell the global commercial rights, excluding China, Japan, the US and Mexico, for Losec (omeprazole) and associated brands to Cheplapharm Arzneimittel GmbH (Cheplapharm).
The divestment includes medicines containing omeprazole marketed by AstraZeneca or its collaborators under the Acimax, Antra, Mepral, Mopral, Omepral and Zoltum medicine names.
Ruud Dobber, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals, said:
“This agreement forms part of our strategy of reducing the portfolio of mature medicines to enable reinvestment in our main therapy areas, accelerating the number of innovative new medicines for patients with high unmet medical need. We already have an excellent relationship with Cheplapharm, and their strong European presence and global distribution network will help ensure continued patient access to Losec.”
AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply Losec and its associated medicines and commercialise the medicine in markets where it still holds the rights.
Cheplapharm will pay AstraZeneca approximately $243 million on completion of the agreement, plus sales-contingent milestones of up to $33 million in 2021 and 2022. Income arising from the upfront payment will be reported in the Company’s financial statements in 2019 as Other Operating Income. In 2018, Losec sales in the countries covered by this agreement were $98 million, the majority of which were in Emerging Markets. The agreement does not change the Company’s financial guidance for 2019. As there were no closing considerations to the transaction, the agreement became effective upon signing.
Losec is a proton pump inhibitor discovered and developed by AstraZeneca, which helps to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach in patients with gastrointestinal reflux conditions and ulcers. It has a number of approved indications and is commonly prescribed for patients with gastro oesophageal reflux disease.
The commercial rights to Losec and other omeprazole medicines in the US, Japan and Mexico, as well as the commercial rights to the over-the-counter version in France, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand and the Netherlands were previously divested.
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 and Metabolism (CVRM), and Respiratory. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.