AstraZeneca has signed an agreement to sell the European commercial rights for its Atacand (candesartan cilexetil) drug to German pharmaceutical company Cheplapharm Arzneimittel for $200m.

Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca is also eligible for additional $10m in a time-bound payment as well as sales-contingent milestones.

AstraZeneca developed the drug in alliance with Takeda. The companies have exclusive rights to the medicine in select markets, while they co-market the product in other countries.

Atacand is a selective, AT1 subtype angiotensin II receptor antagonist blocker (ARB) indicated to manage hypertension in adults and children or adolescents, and heart failure in adults.

In Europe, the product is also available as a fixed-dose combination of candesartan cilexetil and hydrochlorothiazide under the brand Atacand Plus.

The combination drug is intended for the hypertension management when monotherapy is not sufficiently effective.

AstraZeneca Global Product & Portfolio Strategy executive vice-president Mark Mallon said: “This agreement forms part of our strategy of streamlining our portfolio of mature medicines to enable reinvestment in our main therapy areas and bringing new medicines to patients.

“Cheplapharm’s strong European presence will help expand the commercial potential of Atacand.”

“Cheplapharm’s strong European presence will help expand the commercial potential of Atacand.”

The transaction is scheduled to be closed in the third quarter of this year.

As part of a supply agreement, AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply Atacand and Atacand Plus, and will continue their commercialisation in all relevant markets.

In May last year, the company signed a similar divestiture agreement with Italy-based Recordati.

The terms of the $300m deal covered the commercial rights to Seloken/Seloken ZOK drugs, and related fixed-dose combination medicine called Logimax in Europe.

Seloken is indicated to treat various heart conditions such as hypertension, cardiac rhythm disturbances, post-myocardial infarction maintenance, angina pectoris and functional disorders with palpitations.