AstraZeneca sells off heart failure and hypertension drugs to Cheplapharm for $400M
Out with the old and in with the new: AstraZeneca is selling off two heart failure and hypertension drugs to Germany-based Cheplapharm, bagging $400 million and making way for development in other areas.
Cheplapharm paid $200 million for the European rights to Atacand (candesartan cilexetil) and Atacand Plus (candesartan cilexetil and hydrochlorothiazide) back in 2018. They’re now doubling that amount for commercial control in more than 70 countries.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca said the sale will allow them to focus on three main therapy areas: oncology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolism, and respiratory and immunology. Last year, AstraZeneca swept away the brand name MedImmune and brought in José Baselga to run cancer R&D operations in a major restructuring. Oncology has been a main focus as CEO Pascal Soriot builds out the company’s portfolio.
Not to mention, the pharma is one of the leaders in the race for a Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier this month, the EMA granted a rolling review for its candidate in development with Oxford University.
“This agreement forms part of our strategy to carefully manage the mature medicines, enabling reinvestment in our main therapy areas to bring innovative new medicines to patients,” Ruud Dobber, EVP of AstraZeneca’s biopharmaceuticals business unit, said in a statement.
AstraZeneca will manufacture and sell Atacand for the next three years as the companies transition. The drug, developed with Takeda, was first approved in 1998, and is now indicated to treat hypertension in adults and children, and heart failure in adults. Atacand Plus is approved for the treatment of hypertension when candesartan or hydrochlorothiazide monotherapy is “not sufficiently effective,” according to the company.
Last year, Atacand earned $221 million in global sales, according to AstraZeneca’s Q4 results. Cheplapharm agreed to pay $250 million once the deal closes, and the rest in the first half of 2021. AstraZeneca said the sale will “not impact the company’s financial guidance for 2020.”