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AstraZeneca Sells Antibiotics Business to Pfizer


Pharmaceutical Executive

August 25, 2016

AstraZeneca has agreed to sell its late-stage small-molecule antibiotics business to Pfizer. The assets include approved antibiotics Merrem, Zinforo, and Zavicefta, as well as candidates in clinical development, ATM-AVI and CXL.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will make an upfront payment of $550 million to AstraZeneca upon completion and a further unconditional payment of $175 million in January 2019 for the commercialization and development rights to the late-stage antibiotics business in all markets where AstraZeneca holds the rights. Pfizer will also pay up to $250 million in commercial, manufacturing, and regulatory milestones, up to $600 million in sales-related payments as well as recurring, double-digit royalties on future sales of Zavicefta and ATM-AVI in certain markets.

According to AstraZeneca, this divestment will enable the British drugmaker to concentrate its R&D efforts in three main therapy areas-oncology, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Pfizer’s focus on infectious diseases, meanwhile, will enable greater patient access to the antibiotics and maximize the potential of the late-stage, small molecule antibiotics business.

MedImmune’s biologics portfolio, however, are not included in this deal. AstraZeneca’s stake in Entasis Therapeutics, which spun off from AstraZeneca in 2015 and now operating as a stand-alone company focused on the development of innovative small-molecule anti-infectives, are also not included as part of the agreement. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Source: AstraZeneca

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