AstraZeneca recently announced an agreement with Perrigo Company plc regarding the divestment of rights for Entocort® (budesonide) in the United States. Entocort is a locally-acting glucocorticosteroid considered a first-line therapy indicated for the induction and maintenance of clinical remission in patients with mild to moderate active Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The agreement is based on the fact that Crohn’s disease and gastroenterological conditions are topics outside the scope of AstraZeneca’s recent strategic focus.
“Our agreement with Perrigo completes the global divestment of Entocort, emphasizing our strategic focus on three main therapy areas and providing further simplification of our supply chain. We are pleased to be working with Perrigo to ensure patients with Crohn’s disease in the U.S. continue to benefit from this important medicine,” said Luke Miels, Executive Vice President, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy at AstraZeneca in a news release.
According to the agreement established, Perrigo will pay $380 million to AstraZeneca for the rights of the sales of Entocort capsules, as well as the generic capsules marketed by Par Pharmaceuticals, in the United States.
“The addition of Entocort represents a strong strategic fit with our portfolio of prescription medicines. It supports our commitment to providing effective, affordable treatments to patients with gastroenterological conditions and we look forward to building on the brand’s success in the U.S. market,” said Joseph C. Papa, Chairman, President and CEO of Perrigo.
The Entocort sales in the United States were $89 million year-to-date (at nine months 2015). The transaction between AstraZeneca and Perrigo is planned to be completed by the end of the year. No transfer of facilities or employees is included in the arrangement.
In July 2015, AstraZeneca had already entered into an agreement with the Swiss group Tillotts Pharma AG, part of the Zeria Group, regarding the company’s divestment of global rights over Entocort outside the United States. Now, the agreement with Perrigo allows AstraZeneca to complete its global divestment plan in Entocort.
The strategic business plan of AstraZeneca is now focused on investing in the company’s core areas, namely respiratory disorders, oncology, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.