AstraZeneca, a British pharmaceutical company, has recently announced plans to sell rights to Crestor, its blockbuster cholesterol drug, to Grünenthal GmbH. The company is expected to sell the rights to the German pharmaceutical company for $320 million as the upfront payment, as it is aiming towards strengthening its cancer treatment portfolio.
In 2015, Crestor helped generate revenue of nearly $5 billion for AstraZeneca and was among the best-selling medicines. It contributed over 20% of the company’s total revenue. However, in 2016, the medicine sales were largely impacted due to the presence of generic products. The company has touted new medicines such as Imfinzi and Tagrisso for cancer as well as Fasenra for severe asthma to gain greater prominence.
AstraZeneca is a front-runner in the global race for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. The company has been lending a key focus on enhancing the development of its cancer drugs as it continues to streamline the business. It is also known for having a head start in the development of cancer treatments and its medicine sales, including Imfinzi, its blockbuster lung cancer treatment.
The company has reportedly cited that the latest deal will provide Grünenthal the rights to sell Crestor & associated medicines in above 30 European countries, except Spain and the UK. It further revealed its plan to continue manufacturing and supplying the drug for Grünenthal during the transition period as well as sell it in other regions such as China and North America.
The deal is likely to be closed in the Q1 of 2021. AstraZeneca also reportedly stated that Grünenthal is expected to make milestone payments of over $30 million.
In addition to the recent deal, in October, AstraZeneca announced plans to sell rights to Atacand and Atacand Plus, its heart failure & blood pressure medicines, to Cheplapharm Arzneimittel for $400 million.
Moreover, the drug manufacturer has stated that the Crestor divestment will not adversely impact its 2020 financial guidance.