ASTRAZENECA SHARPENS FOCUS ON MAIN THERAPY AREAS THROUGH AGREEMENT WITH
GASTROENTEROLOGY SPECIALIST TILLOTTS PHARMA FOR ENTOCORT
AstraZeneca announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Tillotts
Pharma AG (Tillotts), 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.
Under the terms of 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.
Luke Miels, Executive Vice President, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy and
Corporate Affairs, AstraZeneca, said: “Our agreement with Tillotts reinforces
our strategic focus on selected therapy areas and puts this important medicine
in the hands of a company with specialist expertise in gastroenterology, which
will benefit patients.”
Thomas A. Tóth von Kiskér, CEO of Tillotts, commented: “Entocort perfectly
complements our Asacol® portfolio marketed in 50 countries worldwide through our
own European affiliates, our Japanese parent company Zeria Pharmaceutical and
our trusted network of marketing partners. This acquisition underscores our
commitment to continue to position Tillotts as a leading European specialised
player in the field of gastroenterology, offering patients a wide range of
treatments for the GI tract.”
Sachiaki Ibe, Chairman and CEO of Zeria Pharmaceutical, added: “We are excited
to obtain a well-established brand such as Entocort and to expand its commercial
reach to Japan and other countries. With this move, we confirm our expansion
strategy of organic growth combined with merger and acquisition activities,
while delivering increased value to our shareholders."
As AstraZeneca will no longer retain an interest in the ex-US rights to
Entocort, the upfront receipt will be reported in Other Operating Income in the
Company’s financial statements for 2015. The transaction is expected to complete
in the second half of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions, and it does
not impact AstraZeneca’s financial guidance for 2015.
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.
AstraZeneca has a partnership with Par Pharmaceutical for the commercialisation
of Entocort in the US.
Tillotts Pharma AG, part of the Zeria Group, is a fast-growing specialty pharma
company with over 200 employees in Switzerland and abroad. Tillotts is dedicated
to the development, in/out-licensing and commercialisation of innovative
pharmaceutical products, medical devices and diagnostics, all in the field of
Tillotts successfully markets its own products Asacol® and Colpermin®, as well
as VistaPrep® and in-licensed products, such as Simtomax®, in over 55 countries
through its own affiliates within Europe and a carefully chosen network of
gastroenterology-focused marketing partners throughout the world. For more
information, please visit www.tillotts.com.
Zeria Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., founded in 1955, based in Tokyo, Japan, focuses
on R&D, manufacturing and sales of prescription drugs as well as OTC products.
The company is listed on the First Section of Tokyo Stock Exchange (Stock code:
4559). Zeria holds a leading position within the gastroenterology field in Japan
and operates internationally through a number of subsidiaries. For more
information, please visit www.zeria.co.jp.
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that
focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription
medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic,
respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience
diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative
medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information
please visit: www.astrazeneca.com
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09 July 2015