AstraZeneca sells off paediatric lung infection drug to Sobi for $1.5bn

pharmafile | November 13, 2018 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Sales and Marketing AstraZeneca, Synagis, espiratory syncytial virus, pharma, sobi 

AstraZeneca has jettisoned another non-essential asset with the sale of Synagis (palivizumab), a preventative treatment for infections relating to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), to Swedish rare disease specialist Sobi in a deal worth $1.5 billion.

As part of the agreement, AZ will pay an upfront sum of $1 billion in cash and $500 million in newly issued Sobi shares, with deferred and contingent payments to possibly follow.

An RSV F protein inhibitor monoclonal antibody, Synagis is a prophylactic measure to prevent serious lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) in paediatric patients, and is the only medicine approved for that indication. AZ’s existing commercialisation agreement with AbbVie covering marketing rights of the drug outside the US will not be affected by this new deal, the company said.

In addition to Synagis, the deal also means that Sobi will receive 50% of all future earnings of candidate drug MEDI8897, a follow-on candidate for the drug.

“I am excited about adding Synagis to our portfolio as it remains the only product preventing RSV infection in this vulnerable patient group with a great medical need,” commented Sobi President and CEO Guido Oelkers. “The addition of Synagis will become an important strategic catalyst for Sobi’s future development and will form a powerful platform for growth in rare diseases. We see the acquisition as a stepping stone to drive sustainable growth in the US and make Sobi more attractive for partnering. It also increases the overall Specialty Care franchise and diversifies our portfolio in Immunology. The expected earnings of this acquisition will increase the financial flexibility to support further growth initiatives.”

Matt Fellows

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