AstraZeneca Divests Non-US Rights for GI Drug
AstraZeneca has formed an agreement with the specialty pharmaceutical company, Tillotts Pharma AG, part of the Zeria Group, for the divestment of global rights, outside the US, to Entocort (budesonide), a gastroenterology medicine for patients with mild to moderate Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Entocort is currently available in over 40 countries, with total product sales of $53 million outside the US in 2014. A regulatory submission for Entocort in Japan is anticipated in the coming months. AstraZeneca has a partnership with Par Pharmaceutical for the commercialization of Entocort in the US.
Under the agreement, Tillotts will pay AstraZeneca $215 million upon completion of the transaction to acquire the rights to sell and develop Entocort capsules and enema formulations outside the US. The transaction does not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca employees or facilities. The transaction is expected to complete in the second half of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions.
In capsule formulation, Entocort is a first-line therapy indicated for the induction and maintenance of clinical remission of mild to moderate active Crohn’s disease involving the ileum and/or the ascending colon. As an enema, Entocort is indicated for the induction and maintenance of clinical remission of distal ulcerative colitis in the rectum, sigmoid colon and descending colon.
Tillotts Pharma, headquartered in Rheinfelden, Switzerland, is focused on the in/out-licensing and commercialization of pharmaceutical products, medical devices, and diagnostics for gastroenterology. Zeria Pharmaceutical, based in Tokyo, focuses on R&D, manufacturing and sales of prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter products.