AstraZeneca makes $1B-plus in cash-and-stock deal granting Sobi US rights to RSV drug Synagis

AstraZeneca makes $1B-plus in cash-and-stock deal granting Sobi US rights to RSV drug Synagis
<span>by endpoints staff &mdash; on November 13, 2018 08:46 AM EST<br><br>PDFPDF<br>As&shy;traZeneca $AZN has di&shy;vested the US rights to its pre&shy;ven&shy;ta&shy;tive RSV drug, Synagis, to Swedish Or&shy;phan Biovit&shy;rum AB (Sobi) for $1.5 bil&shy;lion in cash and stock, as the British drug&shy;maker con&shy;tin&shy;ues to re&shy;fine its pipeline and focus on its newer flag&shy;ship prod&shy;ucts.<br>Synagis,...</span>

by endpoints staff — on 

As­traZeneca $AZN has di­vested the US rights to its pre­ven­ta­tive RSV drug, Synagis, to Swedish Or­phan Biovit­rum AB (Sobi) for $1.5 bil­lion in cash and stock, as the British drug­maker con­tin­ues to re­fine its pipeline and focus on its newer flag­ship prod­ucts.

Synagis, known chem­i­cally as palivizumab, is used to pre­vent se­ri­ous lower res­pi­ra­tory tract in­fec­tions caused by the res­pi­ra­tory syn­cy­tial virus (RSV) in in­fants and young chil­dren, and is the only med­i­cine ap­proved for the pre­ven­tion of se­ri­ous RSV dis­ease. US sales of the drug de­clined by 27% to $133 mil­lion in Q3, As­traZeneca re­ported last week. Sales of the drug out­side the US, which is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of Ab­b­Vie $ABBV, were up 4% to $281 mil­lion.

Pas­cal So­riot

De­spite some pipeline set­backs, As­traZeneca has en­joyed some some land­mark suc­cesses in on­col­ogy under chief Pas­cal So­riot, fol­low­ing years of shrink­ing rev­enue and grow­ing generic com­pe­ti­tion eat­ing into sales of the com­pany’s main­stay prod­ucts. So­riot’s ap­proach, char­ac­terised by new drug ap­provals and asset sales, is fo­cused on the prin­ci­ple that the com­pany must sim­plify its ap­proach, con­cen­trat­ing on block­buster, stan­dard-of-care as­sets that can make a major dif­fer­ence. This strat­egy has changed the com­pany’s tra­jec­tory — last week As­traZeneca re­ported a sig­nif­i­cant spurt in Q3 sales, dri­ven by new prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and suc­cess in the grow­ing China drug mar­ket.

As part of the trans­ac­tion, Sobi will com­mer­cial­ize Synagis in the US and roughly 130 As­traZeneca em­ploy­ees will be trans­ferred to the Swedish drug­maker. Sobi will also have the right to par­tic­i­pate in As­traZeneca’s share of US prof­its and losses re­lated to po­ten­tial new med­i­cine MEDI8897, a mon­o­clonal an­ti­body that neu­tral­izes RSV and has been en­gi­neered to have a long half-life, so that only one dose will be needed for the en­tire RSV sea­son.

As­traZeneca will con­tinue to de­velop MEDI8897 in col­lab­o­ra­tion with France’s Sanofi $SNY, the British drug­maker added on Tues­day.

The deal con­sists of $1 bil­lion in cash and $500 mil­lion in or­di­nary Sobi shares upon com­ple­tion, 

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