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AZ in commercialization agreement with Aspen

pascal soirot astrazeneca

AstraZeneca has entered into a commercialisation agreement with Aspen Global Incorporated (AGI), part of the Aspen Group, for rights to its global anaesthetics portfolio outside the US.

The agreement covers seven established medicines – Diprivan (general anaesthesia), EMLA (topical anaesthetic) and five local anaesthetics (Xylocaine/Xylocard/Xyloproct, Marcaine, Naropin, Carbocaine and Citanest).

Under the terms of the agreement, AGI will acquire the commercialisation rights, outside the US, to AstraZeneca’s portfolio of anaesthetic medicines for an upfront consideration of $520 million. Additionally, AGI will pay AstraZeneca up to $250 million in a Product Sales-related payment, as well as double-digit percentage trademark royalties on Product Sales. AstraZeneca will manufacture and supply the products on a cost plus basis to AGI for an initial period of 10 years. Upon completion, Aspen will assume responsibility for all activities relating to the sale of the portfolio in all relevant markets.

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca, said: “AstraZeneca has a rich heritage in anaesthetic medicines and this agreement will extend the reach of our established portfolio to a greater number of patients through AGI’s extensive commercial network. This agreement supports our strategic focus on the new medicines in three main therapy areas.”

Stephen Saad, Group Chief Executive, Aspen, said: “This is a strategically-important investment for AGI and it is pleasing to have a company such as AstraZeneca recognise Aspen’s commercial competencies. This transaction is an excellent opportunity to build on the quality brands commercialised through AGI, working alongside an acknowledged pioneer and leader in the field of anaesthetics.”

AstraZeneca’s portfolio of anaesthetics is available in over a hundred countries worldwide, including key markets such as China, Japan, Australia and Brazil. The portfolio continues to generate stable revenue, with global Product Sales in 2015 of $592 million. The US rights to the products were divested to Abraxis, now part of Fresenius Kabi, in 2006.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is anticipated to complete in the third quarter of 2016. AstraZeneca will retain a significant ongoing interest in the anaesthetics portfolio through ongoing milestone and royalty payments and the manufacture and supply of the products to Aspen. The upfront and milestone payments, as well as royalty receipts, which are open-ended, will therefore be reported as Externalisation Revenue in the Company’s financial statements. The agreement will not impact the Company’s financial guidance for 2016.