Updated on 13 July 2015
With several drugs of AstraZeneca going off patent, the divestment of Entocort will help the company focus on its core therapeutic areas and develop a strong product pipeline
Singapore: British drug giant AstraZeneca has joined hands with Japan's Tillotts Pharma for the divestment of the ex-US rights to its gastroenterology drug, Entocort (budesonide). As part of the deal, AstraZeneca will gain $215 million, while Tillotts will receive exclusive rights to sell and develop Entocort capsules and enema formulations outside the US.
Entocort is approved for the treatment of patients suffering from mild-to-moderate Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Entocort registered sales of $53 million outside the US in 2014 while a regulatory filing in Japan is expected shortly, which could boost the sales potential of the drug further.
With several drugs of AstraZeneca going off patent, the divestment of Entocort will help the company focus on its core therapeutic areas and develop a strong product pipeline. Along with Entocort, the company had earlier also sold its Alzheimer's drug to Elli Lilly for a payment of $500 mn. The cash thus generated is utlized for developing its product pipeline for core therapy areas said a senior official.
"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," said, Mr Luke Meils, AstraZeneca's executive VP, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy and Corporate Affairs.