AstraZeneca To Sell Rights to Antipsychotic Drug Seroquel for $538 Million
AstraZeneca has agreed to sell and license the rights in specified markets to its antipsychotic drugs, Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) and Seroquel XR (quetiapine fumarate) for $538 million to Luye Pharma Group, a Shanghai, China-headquartered pharmaceutical company. The deal is part of AstraZeneca’s strategy to focus on three main therapeutic areas: oncology; cardiovascular, renal and metabolism; and respiratory.
Seroquel, used primarily to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disease, is outside those therapeutic areas and has lost its compound patent protection globally, according to information from AstraZeneca. The Seroquel XR formulation patents have also expired in the vast majority of markets.
Under the deal, Luye Pharma will pay $538 million, including $260 million immediately following closure of the transaction, for rights to the drugs in the UK, China, and other international markets, including Brazil, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Argentina, Malaysia, and South Africa. AstraZeneca partnered the rights to Seroquel and Seroquel XR in Japan and Venezuela under prior agreements. In addition, a milestone is payable on the successful transition of certain activities to Luye. AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply Seroquel and Seroquel XR to Luye Pharma during a transition period.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances. In FY 2017, Seroquel generated sales of $85 million in the markets covered by the agreement, and Seroquel XR generated sales of $63 million.