AstraZeneca has signed an agreement with Zeria Group’s subsidiary Tillotts Pharma to sell its global rights of Entocort (budesonide) outside the US for around $215m.
Entocort is a gastroenterology medicine to treat patients with mild to moderate Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
As part of the deal, Tillotts will purchase rights to sell and develop Entocort capsules and enema formulations outside the US and the transaction will not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca employees or facilities.
AstraZeneca global product and portfolio strategy and corporate affairs executive vice-president Luke Miels said: “Our agreement with Tillotts reinforces our strategic focus on selected therapy areas and puts this important medicine in the hands of a company with specialist expertise in gastroenterology, which will benefit patients.”
In capsule formulation, Entocort is a first-line therapy indicated to induce and maintain clinical remission of mild to moderate active Crohn’s disease involving the ileum and ascending colon.
In the enema form, Entocort is indicated to induce and maintain clinical remission of distal ulcerative colitis in the rectum, sigmoid colon and descending colon.
Entocort is currently marketed in around 40 countries worldwide, with reported product sales of $53m outside the US in 2014.
In Japan, the regulatory submission for Entocort is expected in the next few months.
Tillotts Pharma CEO Thomas Tóth von Kiskér said: “Entocort perfectly complements our Asacol portfolio marketed in 50 countries worldwide through our own European affiliates, our Japanese parent company Zeria Pharmaceutical and our trusted network of marketing partners.”
Subject to customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to complete in the second half of this year.
AstraZeneca has partnered with Par Pharmaceutical to market Entocort in the US.
Image: AstraZeneca’s R&D Site in Mölndal, Sweden. Photo: courtesy of Erik031.