AstraZeneca announced that it will sell the US rights to its respiratory tract infection treatment to a Swedish company. Indeed, it will sell the US rights to Synagis to Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (Sobi) for an initial $1.5 billion.

Under the deal, AstraZeneca will receive $1.5 billion which will be made up of $1 billion cash and $500 million in ordinary Sobi shares. Based on the current Sobi share price, this figure equates to ownership of 8% of the company.

Sobi will commercialise the treatment in the US. Additionally, roughly 130 AstraZeneca employees will move to Sobi as part of the deal.

Sobi will also be given a proportion of AstraZeneca’s share of US profits and losses of a potential new medicine.

The new medicine is currently being developed by the biopharmaceutical company alongside Sanofi Pasteur.

Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot, commented:

“We continue to streamline our portfolio, allowing AstraZeneca to allocate resources more effectively, while Sobi’s focus on Synagis will enable infants in the US to continue benefiting from this important treatment. Meanwhile, the successful development and commercialisation of MEDI8897 remains important for AstraZeneca.”

Guido Oelkers, Sobi President and CEO, also commented on the deal:

“I am excited about adding Synagis to our portfolio as it remains the only product preventing RSV infection in this vulnerable patient group with a great medical need. The addition of Synagis will become an important catalyst for Sobi’s future development and will form a powerful platform for growth in rare diseases.”

Sobi focuses on rare diseases and specialist healthcare products, with its head office in Solna, Sweden. The company has roughly 800 employees and operates in over 20 countries. Likewise, AstraZeneca is a global biopharmaceutical company that specialises in oncology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolism and respiratory treatments. It currently operates in over 100 countries world wide.

Sobi isn’t the only company AstraZeneca has recently sold rights to. At the end of October, the biopharmaceutical company also sold rights to its acid-reflux medicine to Grunenthal. Furthermore, it recently published its third quarter earnings and outlined a contingency plan for Brexit. In addition, it also had its cell leukaemia treatment approved by the US FDA and its new diabetes formula by the European Commission.

At 08:22 today, shares in AstraZeneca plc (LON:AZN) were trading at +0.71%.

At 09:23 CET today, shares in Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (STO:SOBI) were trading at +7.77%.