Rheinfelden, Switzerland based Tillotts Pharma AG (“Tillotts”), part of Japan’s Zeria Group, has announced its entry into an agreement in which it will acquire global rights from London based AstraZeneca to market the drug Entocort (budesonide), excluding the U.S., where Entocort will continue to be marketed by AstraZeneca.
Tillotts is under agreement to expand and diversify the company’s portfolio by acquiring Entocort, an established, locally-acting glucocorticosteroid medicine, indicated for treatment inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) from London, UK based AstraZeneca
Entocort is available in two formulations: capsules and enema. Entocort capsules (3 mg) are a first-line locally acting glucocorticosteroid therapy indicated for the induction of remission of mild to moderate active Crohn’s disease involving the ileum and/or the ascending colon and maintenance of remission. Entocort Enema (0.02 mg/ml) is indicated for the induction and maintenance of clinical remission of distal ulcerative colitis in the rectum, sigmoid and descending colon.
Entocort is currently available in over 40 countries, with total sales of approximately $53 million outside the US in 2014. A regulatory submission for Entocort in Japan is anticipated in the coming months.
Tillotts says this transaction underscores its commitment to become a major European specialist in the field of gastroenterology, offering patients a wide range of treatments for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders while delivering value to shareholders
A fast-growing speciality pharma company with over 200 employees in Switzerland and abroad, Tillotts’ mission statement is its dedication to development, in/out-licensing, and marketing of innovative pharmaceutical products, medical devices and diagnostics, all in the field of gastroenterology. Since 2009 a fully owned subsidiary of the Japanese Zeria Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Tillotts markets its own products Asacol and Colpermin as well as in-licensed products, such as Simtomax in over 55 countries through their affiliates in Europe and a carefully-vetted network of gastroenterology-focused marketing partners throughout the world.
Entocort is a locally-acting glucocorticosteroid, currently approved in more than 40 countries for treatment of Crohn’s disease (CD) and, in some markets, ulcerative colitis (UC) as well. CD and UC are variants of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal (GI) diseases conservatively estimated to affect over 2.2 million people in Europe and five million worldwide. CD and UC are chronic, debilitating diseases that may lead to life-threatening complications. Symptoms vary, but typically include abdominal pain and diarrhea.
With the acquisition of Entocort, Tillotts says it will be reaffirming its commitment to patients by providing treatments for a wide range of disorders of the GI tract, while delivering value to shareholders by expanding and diversifying the company’s portfolio. Under the agreement, Tillotts will acquire all rights related to manufacturing, marketing, sales and trademarks of Entocort. Tillotts will take over the global supply and distribution in markets (ex-U.S.) where the product is currently available.
“Entocort perfectly complements our Asacol portfolio marketed in 50 countries worldwide through our own European Affiliates, our Japanese mother company Zeria Pharmaceutical, and our trusted network of marketing partners,” says Tillotts CEO Thomas A. “Toth” von Kisker, at. “This agreement underscores our commitment to continue to position Tillotts as a leading European specialist in the field of gastroenterology, offering patients a wide range of treatments for the GI tract.”
Mr. Sachiaki Ibe, Chairman and CEO of Zeria Pharmaceutical (pictured here with Zeria President and COO Mitsushiro Ibe) comments: “We are excited to obtain a well-established brand, such as Entocort, and to expand its commercial reach to Japan and other countries. With this move, we confirm our expansion strategy of organic growth combined with merger and acquisition activities, while delivering increased value to our shareholders.”
“Adding Entocort to our portfolio will greatly enhance Tillotts’ ability to compete in Europe and globally for further licensing deals and acquisitions,” adds Tillotts Chief Business Development Officer Dirk Reckert.
Under the terms of the agreement, Tillotts will make an upfront payment to AstraZeneca of $215 million upon completion of the transaction to acquire the rights to sell and develop Entocort capsules and enema formulations outside the U.S. The transaction does not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca employees or facilities.
Luke Miels, Executive Vice President, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy and Corporate Affairs, AstraZeneca, notes that: “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.”
Originally established in London in the 1950s as a family owned pharmacy known as J.B. Tillotts Ltd. Chemists, the business gradually expanded to becoming a wholesaler and then an importer of pharmaceutical products. In the late ’70s Tillotts in-licensed the worldwide rights to Asacol & Colpermin — two patent-protected products for the treatment of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
In 1981 Tillotts launched Colpermin in the United Kingdom, and in 1984 added Asacol in Switzerland and a year later in the United Kingdom. In 1986 Tillotts Laboratories Ltd, including its leading UK product Colpermin, were divested and Tillotts moved to Switzerland. In 1995 Tillotts Pharma AG was sold to Medeva PLC, a multi-national pharma group (now part of UCB), and in 1999 a management buyout re-established Tillotts as a privately owned company which, over the following decade, managed to add many new markets including a network of Tillotts affiliates. On September 1st, 2009 the company was sold to Zeria Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a mid-sized Japanese pharmaceutical company which already held the marketing rights for Asacol in Japan.
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information visit:
Zeria Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., founded in 1955, based in Tokyo, Japan, focuses on R&D, manufacturing and sales of prescription drugs as well as OTC products. The company is listed on the First Section of Tokyo Stock Exchange (Stock code: 4559). Zeria holds a leading position within the gastroenterology field in Japan and operates internationally through a number of subsidiaries. For more information about Zeria visit:
Tillott’s Pharma AG
Zeria Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Tillott’s Pharma AG
Zeria Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.