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30 July 2014Big Pharma

AstraZeneca boosts patent portfolio with lung drug acquisition

UK-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has boosted its patent portfolio with the acquisition of rights to Spanish company Almirall’s lung drugs, including Eklira (aclidinium).

It will be a boost to the company’s sales as Eklira, used to treat respiratory diseases such as asthma, is already on the market and AstraZeneca’s profits have come under pressure from the expiry of several of its patents.

AstraZeneca will pay an initial $875 million for the rights to develop and commercialise the drug, potentially paying up to $1.22 billion more if the drug hits various targets set by the company.

AstraZeneca is set to lose market exclusivity for several of its best-selling products later this year. Eklira will join AstraZeneca’s respiratory drug treatment portfolio, which includes existing products Symbicort and Pulmicort.

Eklira will allow patients the choice between a dry powder inhaler or a metered dose inhaler device to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, said: “Our agreement with Almirall brings strategic and long-term value to AstraZeneca’s strong respiratory franchise. We will benefit from immediate and growing product revenues which we anticipate will be rapidly accretive to earnings.”

Jorge Gallardo, president of Almirall, said: “This important agreement allows us to better develop our assets and expertise in respiratory with AstraZeneca, an experienced player in this therapeutic area. It also allows us to better balance the costs, risks and returns of the respiratory business while retaining an important economic interest.”

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