AstraZeneca has agreed to sell rights outside the U.S. for respiratory drugs Alvesco, Omnaris, and Zetonna to Zug, Switzerland-based Covis Pharma B.V., which acquired the U.S. rights for the drugs in 2017. Covis will become the owner of the medicines upon closing.
Covis Pharma will pay AstraZeneca $350 million in addition to conditional sales-related payments of up to $21 million over four years starting in 2019. AstraZeneca had reported that 2017 combined product sales of Alvesco, Omnaris, and Zetonna were $106 million.
Alvesco is an inhaled anti-inflammatory maintenance therapy delivered by a metered-dose inhaler to help control persistent asthma.
Omnaris and Zetonna are nasal sprays for the treatment of symptoms associated with seasonal allergic and allergic/non-allergic perennial rhinitis, an inflammation and swelling of the mucous membrane of the nose, characterized by a runny nose and stuffiness.
The active ingredient in all three medicines is ciclesonide, a synthetic corticosteroid that helps relieve inflammation.
Mark Mallon, AstraZeneca’s executive VP of global product and portfolio strategy, said the move is in line with company divestment objectives to shed parts of its portfolio in order to allocate resources toward developing new medicines that address unmet patient needs.
The transaction does not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca employees or facilities. Completion of the agreement is expected by year end.