AstraZeneca sells off rights to Seroquel for US$538mln

The FTSE 100 drugmaker has been selling off non-core assets in recent years as it narrows its focus on three primary areas of Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism and Respiratory

woman with mental health issues
Luye will pay US$260mln upfront, with the remaining US$278mln following later on

AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) has sold the rights to its Seroquel schizophrenia treatment to China’s Luye Phara for US$538mln.

The FTSE 100 drugmaker has been hiving off products in recent years as it narrows its focus on its three core therapy areas of Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism and Respiratory.

READ: AstraZeneca shares under pressure after lung cancer setback

Seroqual has lost its patent protection making it susceptible to competition from cheap generics, while Seroquel XR’s patents have also expired in the “vast majority of markets”.

Tuesday’s deal gives Luye the rights to Seroquel and Seroquel XR in the UK, China and other international markets, including Brazil, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Argentina, Malaysia and South Africa.

AstraZeneca had already partnered the rights to the drugs in Japan and Venezuela under prior agreements.

“The agreement with Luye Pharma is in line with AstraZeneca's strategy to focus on three main therapy areas while maximising the value from our legacy medicines like Seroquel,” said AstraZeneca’s Executive Vice President, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy, Mark Mallon.

Last year, Seroquel generated annual sales of US$85mln in the markets covered by this agreement, while Seroquel XR generated US$63mln.

Astra shares edged 0.3% higher to 52.18 early on Tuesday.

Quick facts: AstraZeneca

Price: 8575 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £112.55 billion

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