AstraZeneca continues to sell the rights to its gout drug, Zurampic, with German pharmaceutical company Grünenthal paying as much as $230 million for the rights in Europe and Latin America. The deal – the cost of which will be based on the completion of certain milestones – means that Grünenthal now has the commercial rights to the drug in all 28 members of the European Union, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and South America.
“We are highly committed to the research, development and commercialization of innovative therapies that bring true benefits to patients,” said Dr. Eric-Paul Pâques, CEO, Grünenthal. “Zurampic is a strong addition to our existing portfolio of innovative therapies in the areas of inflammatory diseases and chronic pain. We will thus use our capabilities to provide patients in our markets with this innovative new medicine to better control their condition.”
Earlier this year, AstraZeneca sold its US rights for Zurampic to Ironwood Pharmaceuticals for $100 million in cash, with another $165 million in potential milestone payments. While Grünenthal has the option to begin production of the drug in 2021, for now AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture Zurampic.
The German drugmaker has also agreed to pay a small royalty on sales of the gout drug. AstraZeneca has been making a number of externalization deals in an effort to focus their investment capital on new oncology drugs, as well as other key treatment areas.
“Grünenthal has an established presence across European and Latin American markets and extensive expertise in inflammatory diseases,” said Luke Miels, Executive Vice President, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy, AstraZeneca. “This agreement allows us to further focus our resources on our strategic priorities.”
Amid declining sales of older drugs, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot has set a lofty revenue goal of $45 billion by the year 2023. The maximum $500 million from both externalization deals for Zurampic could help AstraZeneca on its way to meeting its revenue target.