LONDON: AstraZeneca has agreed to sell the commercial rights to Seroquel and Seroquel XR in the US and Canada to Cheplapharm Arzneimittel GmbH. Cheplapharm will make an upfront payment of $35 million to AstraZeneca and may also make future sales-contingent payments of up to $6 million.
Seroquel and Seroquel XR, used primarily to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, have lost their compound patent protection in the US and Canada.
Ruud Dobber, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals Business Unit, said: “This divestment supports our strategy of reducing the number of mature medicines to enable reinvestment in our main therapy areas. Cheplapharm recently agreed to acquire the commercial rights to Seroquel and Seroquel XR in most European markets and Russia from AstraZeneca and this new agreement will help ensure continued patient access to this important established medicine in North America as well.”
AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply Seroquel and Seroquel XR to Cheplapharm during a transition period.
Income arising from the upfront and future payments will be reported in AstraZeneca’s financial statements within Other Operating Income & Expense. In 2018, Seroquel generated sales of $36m in the markets covered by this agreement, while Seroquel XR generated $79m. The agreement does not impact the Company’s financial guidance for 2019. As there were no closing conditions to the divestment, the agreement became effective upon signing.