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AstraZeneca completes respiratory deal with Almirall

Published on 03/11/14 at 12:06pm
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AstraZeneca has finally completed its takeover of Almirall’s respiratory drug portfolio in a deal worth $875 million.

As reported by Pharmafile earlier in the year, the agreement will give AZ ownership of the rights for the development and commercialisation of Almirall’s respiratory business.

AZ, who originally announced the pact back in July, will also pay up to $1.22 billion in development, launch and sales-related milestones.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer, AstraZeneca, says: “I am delighted to welcome our Almirall colleagues to AstraZeneca. Respiratory disease is one of our company’s key therapeutic areas, and the combination of these exciting portfolios reinforces our long-term commitment to patients with asthma and COPD.”

AZ now has the rights to drugs in various stages of development, including COPD offering Duaklir Genuair (aclidinium bromide/fomoterol fumarate dehydrate; plus Eklira (aclidinium), a treatment for smoking-related diseases which recorded $112 million in sales last year.

Jorge Gallardo, president of Almirall says: “This global collaboration will allow us to maximize the potential value of our exciting respiratory franchise and AstraZeneca is the perfect partner to do this.

"Moreover, the deal has given us a strong financial baseline to accelerate our strategy and to start focusing our resources in becoming a top dermatology global player with an additional interest in other specialist driven areas."

This isn’t the only agreement AZ completed in 2014; the pharma giant also signed a contract with its US rival Lilly to develop a new and experimental pill for the treatment of Alzheimer’s in September.

AZ expects to receive $50 million in the first half of 2015 in a deal worth up to $500 million in developments and regulatory milestones payments for the medicine. Furthermore the ongoing possibility of a Pfizer merger is still on the cards – but is looking a little cloudy of late in the wake of its $118 billion bid rejection back in May.

It remains to be seen if Pfizer will make another swoop for the firm on 26 November, which is the next date available to do so due to British merger laws.

It appears the UK’s second largest pharma firm behind GlaxoSmithKline will be entering the New Year on the back of a busy 2014, rife with potential big money deals and portfolio advances.

Tom Robinson

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