AstraZeneca PLC Offloads Heart Drugs to Recordati in $300 Million Deal to Pump Up R&D

Published: May 23, 2017

AstraZeneca PLC Offloads Heart Drugs to Recordati in $300 Million Deal to Pump Up R&D May 22, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

LONDON – AstraZeneca sold the European commercial rights to its beta-blocker heart drug Seloken and the associated fixed-dose combination Logimax to Italy-based Recordati S.p.A. for $300 million.

Seloken (metroprolol) is used to control conditions such as hypertension, angina pectoris, disturbances of cardiac rhythm, maintenance treatment after myocardial infarction and functional heart disorders with palpitations. Logimax is the fixed-dose combination of metoprolol succinate with felodipine. It is indicated for the control of hypertension.

In 2016, Seloken and Logimax generated $110 million in Europe. AstraZeneca will continue to commercialize the medicines in all other markets, where it holds the rights. The deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter, AstraZeneca said.

AstraZeneca struck the deal with Recordati as part of a plan to focus on making 2017 a pivotal year for innovation. In a statement Mark Mallon, AstraZeneca’s head of global product & portfolio strategy, said the deal for the two heart drugs will allow the company to “concentrate our resources on bringing multiple new medicines to patients.”

“Recordati’s expertise in cardiovascular disease and established European salesforce will help to expand the commercial potential of the Seloken brands, which are mature medicines for the new AstraZeneca,” Mallon said.

Under terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will continue to receive sales-related income through tiered royalties, initially at a double-digit percentage of sales. AstraZeneca will manufacture and supply the medicines to Recordati under a supply agreement.

AstraZeneca has been in the process of selling off several drugs, particularly as some of them face revenue challenges from the loss of patents or rival generic drugs. Earlier this year, AstraZeneca laid out how many of its drugs are losing revenue due to competition. For example, AstraZeneca said sales of schizophrenia drug Seroquel XR were down 83 percent in the United States and 37 percent in Europe. COPD drug Symbicort saw a decline of 21 percent in the United States, which AstraZeneca said was in line with predictions for 2017.

AstraZeneca has been on a quest to meet a revenue goal of $45 billion in sales by 2023. The company has been eying its respiratory and oncology pipelines as potential financial tent-poles. There are some potential big revenue drivers on the horizon for the company, including cancer drug Lynparza. In February, the company announced Lynparza in tablet form met primary endpoints in a Phase III trial to treat patients with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer harboring germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. AstraZeneca is also looking at developmental drugs in its pipeline, including a combination lung cancer drug with its the anti-PD-L1 antibody durvalumab, as a key to future revenues. Earlier this month, AstraZeneca revealed a non-small lung cancer trial using durvalumab met Phase III endpoints.

While AstraZeneca looks to oncology and respiratory medicines, Recordati said acquiring the two cardiac drugs will allow the company to expand into new markets, Reuters reported. .

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