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Circassia terminates AstraZeneca partnership in exchange for £150m debt settlement

Published on 09/04/20 at 12:20pm

Circassia Pharmaceuticals has announced its decision to break away from a partnership it forged with AstraZeneca UK back in 2017 for the development and commercialisation of two respiratory drugs for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The partnership, which was potentially worth several hundred million dollars, originally granted US marketing rights to Circassia for Tudorza (aclidinium) and Duaklir (aclidinium/formoterol), with the option to gain full commercial rights in future, while AZ handled development and manufacturing duties.

Now, Circassia’s Board has ruled that it is “in the best interests of the company” to terminate that partnership. Once their deal has been severed, AZ will pick up US marketing rights for both drugs along with ancillary rights and assets.

In return, Circassia will receive a settlement of existing debt and accrued interest to the company – a sum of around $149.9 million – while AZ maintains its 18.9% stake in Circassia.

“As a Board and Management team, we conducted a strategic review of our business and its prospects, concluding that it would be in the best interests of both patients and our shareholders for us to terminate the development and commercialisation agreement between the Company and AstraZeneca UK Limited for the US commercial rights to Tudorza and Duaklir,” explained Ian Johnson, Circassia's Executive Chairman.

“As we look to move forwards with a primary focus on our Niox respiratory diagnostic platform, we are confident in our ability to drive long-term growth,” he continued. “Upon completion, this transaction will transform Circassia into a debt-free business with a strong revenue-generating business, with which we have the potential to expand into new territories and a commercial infrastructure that can in the medium term be further leveraged through broadening its range of products. This fundamental change in the business will place us in a strong position to deliver improved shareholder value.”

The announcement of the news included an expectation that this transaction would be completed within three months.

Matt Fellows

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