AstraZeneca PLC (LON: AZN) will be selling its rights of Crestor and some related medicines to Germany-based Grünenthal GmbH in more than 30 countries of Europe except the UK and Spain. The deal is worth up to $350 million.
AstraZeneca will continue manufacturing and supplying Crestor to Grünenthal during the transition period and selling it in countries such as China, Japan, North America, and others.
Crestor is a statin, lipid-lowering medicine that is used in the treatment of dyslipidemia and high cholesterol. The medicine is also helpful in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes. Crestor has been certified in more than 100 countries as a medicine for regulating lipid. The lipid modifying effects are produced by Crestor in two ways -- by blocking an enzyme in the liver or by increasing the breakdown of already existing cholesterol in the blood.
Crestor had generated $136 million of product sales and $98 million of profit before tax in 2019.
The divestment deal will provide AstraZeneca with an upfront, non-contingent payment of $320 million from Grünenthal, which might also make future milestone payments of up to $30 million. The cash proceeds, which will form a part of AstraZeneca's other operating income and expense in the financial statement, will be used for general corporate purposes.
The divestment is expected to see a final closure in the first quarter of 2021, based on customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances. There will be no impact of the divestment in the financial outlook of the company for this year.
Ruud Dobber, AstraZeneca BioPharmaceuticals Business Unit’s Executive Vice President, said that Grünenthal is well-positioned to ensure availability of Crestor for patients across Europe. In the past, Grünenthal had acquired the rights to various established medicines of AstraZeneca. This agreement would enable the development of innovative and new treatments, he added.
At 12:42 PM, the shares of AstraZeneca PLC were trading at GBX 7,899.00, moving up by 1.20 per cent from its last day close of GBX 7,805.00.
AstraZeneca’s Vaccine Candidate
The UK-based biopharmaceutical company has been in the news for developing the vaccine for combating SARS-CoV-2, in association with the University of Oxford. The vaccine is in its final stage of clinical trials.
It was the third developer to provide their early clinical results after Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE partnership.
Recently, the pharma major released the results of its vaccine candidate’s interim analysis of clinical trials in the UK and Brazil, showing positive results, proving highly effective. When the half dose of the potential vaccine was given, followed by a full dose in a month’s interval, it showed 90 per cent efficacy. Whereas, when two full doses were given after an interval of one month, it showed 62 per cent efficacy. Average efficacy of 70 per cent was reported on combining the analysis from both dosing regimens.
AstraZeneca will now be moving ahead for the regulatory submission of the data to authorities around the world.