AstraZeneca to divest remaining rights to anaesthetics portfolio to Aspen under potential $766 million deal

AstraZeneca announced Thursday an agreement potentially worth up to $766 million to sell the remaining rights to its established anaesthetic medicines portfolio to Aspen Pharmacare. Last year, AstraZeneca sold rights to its global anaesthetics portfolio outside the US to Aspen under a $770-million deal.

The latest agreement includes an upfront consideration of $555 million, with Aspen set to pay up to $211 million in performance-related milestones based on sales and gross margin during the period from September 1, 2017 to November 30, 2019. AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply the medicines, which include Diprivan (propofol), Carbocaine (mepivacaine) and Citanest (prilocaine), to Aspen during a transition period of up to five years.

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Mark Mallon, executive vice president of global product and portfolio strategy at AstraZeneca, said "disposing the remaining rights to the medicines allows both companies to benefit from greater efficiencies as AstraZeneca continues to focus our resources on our three main therapy areas."

Under the deal signed last year, Aspen made an upfront payment of $520 million to AstraZeneca, with the latter eligible for future product sales-related payments of up to $250 million, as well as double-digit percentage sales royalties. AstraZeneca said Thursday that the new agreement does not impact the first product sales-related payment of $150 million, but under the latest deal, Aspen will no longer pay royalties to AstraZeneca. The UK drugmaker added that the remaining $100 million product sales-related payment from the original agreement will be made in 2018, if the contingent terms are met.

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