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AstraZeneca signs deal with Almirall

AstraZeneca agrees strategic transaction with Almirall in respiratory disease.

AstraZeneca has entered an agreement to transfer to the company the rights to Almirall’s respiratory franchise for an initial consideration of $875 million on completion, and up to $1.22 billion in development, launch, and sales-related milestones. Also, AstraZeneca has agreed to make various sales-related payments.

Upon completion of the transaction, AstraZeneca will own the rights for the development and commercialisation of Almirall’s existing proprietary respiratory business, including rights to revenues from Almirall’s existing partnerships, as well as its pipeline of investigational novel therapies. According to a statement from AstraZeneca, the franchise includes Eklira (aclidinium); LAS40464, the combination of aclidinium with formoterol which has been filed for registration in the EU and is being developed in the US; LAS100977 (abediterol), a once-daily long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) in Phase II; an M3 antagonist beta2-agonist (MABA) platform in pre-clinical development (LAS191351, LAS194871) and Phase I (LAS190792); and multiple pre-clinical programs.

“Our agreement with Almirall brings strategic and long-term value to AstraZeneca’s strong respiratory franchise, one of our key growth platforms. We will benefit from immediate and growing product revenues which we anticipate will be rapidly accretive to earnings. Chronic respiratory disease affects hundreds of millions of people around the world. By combining our innovative portfolios and leveraging AstraZeneca’s global scientific and commercial capabilities, we will strengthen our ability to address the entire spectrum of care in asthma and COPD. I very much look forward to welcoming the Almirall people to our company,” said Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca expects the transaction to be neutral to Core EPS in 2015 and accretive from 2016. The company intends to finance the transaction from existing cash resources and short-term credit facilities.

Furthermore, a significant number of employees dedicated to the respiratory business, including Almirall Sofotec employees, will transfer to AstraZeneca, subject to local consultation and legislation. The companies anticipate the transaction will complete by the end of 2014.