AstraZeneca divests seven ‘mature’ brands to refocus its portfolio

By Vassia Barba

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/ayo888)
(Image: Getty/ayo888)

Related tags Astrazeneca Divestment Cheplapharm Arzneimittel Stomach

AstraZeneca enters a $270m deal with Cheplapharm to divest seven drugs, in order to reduce its portfolio of ‘mature’ medicines and reinvest in other therapeutic areas.

Cheplapharm Arzneimittel, a German pharmaceutical company, has agreed to purchase AstraZeneca’s commercial rights to Losec (omeprazole) and six other brands containing omeprazole, including Acimax, Antra, Mepral, Mopral, Omepral and Zoltum.

In order to gain the rights, which refer to the commercialization of the drugs globally, excluding the markets of China, Japan, the US and Mexico, Cheplapharm will pay AstraZeneca approximately $243m (€223m).

The divestment price will rise with sales-contingent milestones of up to $33m (€30m) in 2021 and 2022.

Ruud Dobber, EVP of biopharmaceuticals for AstraZeneca, stated that the agreement reflects the company’s strategy of “reducing the portfolio of mature medicines to enable reinvestment in our main therapy areas.”

A spokesperson for AstraZeneca told us that the divestments will allow the company to realize value from Losec, a ‘successful legacy’ medicine, while redeploying its resources on developing medicines within oncology, cardiovascular, renal & metabolism and respiratory.

“Cheplapharm has significant experience in commercializing mature brands with a strong global presence, which puts them in a great position to continue to provide access to Losec for the benefit of patients,” ​the spokesperson added.

Upon completion of the agreement, AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply the medicines, as well as to commercialize them in the remaining markets.

Launched in 1988, 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.

The brand brought the company sales revenue of $98m in 2018, in the countries covered by the agreement, which became effective upon signing.

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