AstraZeneca PLC, Daiichi Sankyo in $825 Million Drug Tie-Up

Published: Mar 19, 2015

AstraZeneca PLC, Daiichi Sankyo in $825 Million Drug Tie-Up
March 19, 2015
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

London-based AstraZeneca PLC announced today that it had inked a co-commercialization agreement with Parsippany, N.J.-based Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. worth $825 million.

The deal focuses on Movantik (naloxegol), a once-daily oral peripherally-acting Mu-Opioid receptor antagonist (PAMORA) designed for the treatment of OIC in adult patients with chronic pain that is not connected to cancer. OIC is opioid-induced constipation. The compound has received Marketing Authorization in Europe for the treatment of OIC under the name Moventig.

Under the deal Daiichi Sankyo will pay $200 million upfront and follow-up payments up to $625 million. AstraZeneca will handle manufacturing and sales. The companies will share commercial activities.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Daiichi Sankyo to expand our commercialization efforts in the U.S. in order to get this important medicine to the large number of patients suffering with opioid-induced constipation,” said Paul Hudson, president of AstraZeneca U.S. and executive vice president, North America, in a statement.

“Our agreement reflects our evolving business model by creating value from our portfolio through externalization activity. Together, we will grow the potential of this important treatment, while we retain our significant interest in the long-term commercial success of Movantik in our largest market.”

AstraZeneca has had plenty of good news this week. The company announced yesterday that PT003, an experimental compound for the treatment of chronic lung disease, had been a success in two final-stage Phase III trials. PT003 is a long-acting beta-2 agonist (LABA) and a long-acting muscarine antagonist (LAMA) designed to improve lung function in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

This is particularly good news since in September 2014 the company statement disappointing results of a Phase IIa trial for its COPD compound, benralizumab. Although the drug showed clinically significant improvements in lung function in the overall study population, it didn’t cut the rate of acute exacerbation compared to placebo.

Of the AstraZeneca Daiichi Sankyo deal, Ken Keller, president of U.S. Commercial, Daiichi Sankyo, said in a statement, “We are proud to bring our proven primary care and specialty expertise to this collaboration with AstraZeneca. Movantik represents an opportunity to help patients manage one of the most common conditions arising from widely used pain medications, as well as an opportunity to continue to build the Daiichi Sankyo U.S. portfolio of medicines in this therapeutic area.”

Daiichi Sankyo is a global pharmaceutical company that markets products and services in more than 50 countries. It employs approximately 30,000 people worldwide. It is the second largest drug company in Japan.

BioSpace Temperature Poll
After Amgen Inc. said last week that it will close its South San Francisco facility acquired during its $10 billion buyout of Onyx Pharmaceuticals and will lay off 300 of Oynx’s 750 workers, BioSpace is wondering—will the number of mergers and acquisitions completed in 2014 mean a “streamlining” of biotech jobs in the Bay Area? Tell us your thoughts.

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