AstraZeneca sublicense Movantik to RedHill Biopharma

AstraZeneca plc (LON:AZN) have announced that it has agreed to sublicense the global rights to Movantik.

The deal has been struck with RedHill Biopharma Ltd for $67.5 million – and certainly looks like a shrewd piece of business.

Movantik is indicated as a treatment for opioid-induced constipation – and Redhill are set to pay AstraZeneca $52.5 million upfront for the global rights – excluding Israel, Canada, and Europe. Additionally, another $15 million will be paid as a non contingency payment in 2021.

Whilst the deal is being formally completed, AstraZeneca have pledged to keep manufacturing and supplying Movantik.

The deal is set to be complete in the first quarter of 2020, provided e “customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances” are met. As a results, the firm have said that there 2020 guidance will not be affected.

Ruud Dobber, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals Business Unit, said: “This divestment supports our strategy to realise value from medicines in our portfolio that are mature or outside our current scope to enable reinvestment in our main therapy areas. Movantik is an important established medicine and the divestment to RedHill will ensure its continued availability for patients.”

AstraZeneca continue 2020 in strong fashion

At the end of January, the firm gave a double update which continued the good run for the firm.

The FTSE 100 listed pharmaceutical giant updated shareholders by saying it has sold the commercial rights to its Inderal, Tenormin, Tenoretic, Zestril, and Zestoretic to Basildon-based Atnahs Pharma for $350 million upfront.

Astra added that they may also get a further $40 million depending on sales between 2020 and 2022.

Notably, the sale excludes provisions in the USA and India, which had been sold prior to the announcement.

AstraZeneca also updated the market about the outcomes of drug trials for two new medications.

The pharmaceutical giant said that the Brilinta medication met its primary endpoint in a third phase trial, which showed positive conclusions including the reduction in the risk of death in strokes compared to conventional painkillers.

Enhertu, a gastric cancer treatment, also met its primary endpoint, in a phase II trial.

Astra said the drug achieved a “statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement” in the response and survival rate of patients with unresectable or metastatic gastric of gastroesophageal cancer.

Shares in AstraZeneca trade at 7,379p (-0.90%). 25/2/20 11:05BST.

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