AstraZeneca has agreed to sell the European rights for its peripherally-acting, mu-opioid receptor antagonist (PAMORA) Moventig to ProStrakan Group.

Moventig is the first once-daily, oral Pamora approved in Europe for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in adult patients who have had an inadequate response to laxative(s).

The sale forms a part of the company’s strategy to focus on three main therapy areas as the drug is outside its focus area.

As per the deal, ProStrakan will make an upfront payment of $70m to AstraZeneca to acquire the rights to sell and develop Moventig in the EU, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

ProStrakan has also agreed to make additional payments contingent on market access decisions in certain European markets, and will pay AstraZeneca tiered double-digit royalties on sales as well as sales milestones.

The deal does not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca employees or plants.

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"Moventig … opens up broader opportunities to serve both cancer and non-cancer chronic pain patients with this innovative, first-in-class therapy."

The companies have agreed to jointly take certain strategic decisions regarding Moventig in the European territory.

ProStrakan CEO Tom Stratford said: "Moventig is an excellent fit for our oncology and pain-focused sales teams across Europe and opens up broader opportunities to serve both cancer and non-cancer chronic pain patients with this innovative, first-in-class therapy.

"This important medicine will complement our existing breakthrough cancer pain products, Abstral and PecFent, and, through our existing contact with oncology and pain specialists across the continent as well as other planned physician groups, I am confident that we can make Moventig available as an option to a broad range of patients who suffer opioid-induced constipation."

In March last year, AstraZeneca entered into an agreement with Daiichi Sankyo for the co-commercialisation of Movantik in the US.

Image: AstraZeneca’s R&D Site in Mölndal, Sweden: main gate. Photo: courtesy of Erik031.