LONDON—AstraZeneca has announced the establishment of a definitive agreement under which it will acquire Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.'s core respiratory business. This deal includes an expansion of rights to roflumilast, which is marketed as Daliresp in the United States and Daxas elsewhere, the only approved oral PDE4 inhibitor for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). AstraZeneca has been marketing the drug in the United States since the first quarter of the year, when it acquired the rights from Actavis. This agreement also nets AstraZeneca access to several other marketed respiratory medicines and early pipeline products.
Per the terms of the deal, AstraZeneca will pay Takeda $575 million for its respiratory business. In addition, roughly 200 staff will transfer to AstraZeneca once the transaction is complete. AstraZeneca expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2016, and for it to be immediately accretive to earnings from 2016. Annual global sales for the three medicines included in this deal, excluding AstraZeneca sales of Daliresp in the United States, totaled $198 million for the period ending March 2015.
"The agreement with Takeda complements our respiratory business, one of our three main therapy areas, supports our return to growth and will be immediately accretive to earnings from 2016. Daxas in particular adds to our portfolio of treatments for patients with severe COPD,” Luke Miels, executive vice president of Global Portfolio and Product Strategy at AstraZeneca, said in a press release.
In addition to the Takeda deal, AstraZeneca, along with MedImmune, simultaneously announced a series of strategic initiatives in China. Among those initiatives is a strategic alliance with WuXi AppTec to produce innovative biologics locally in China. The agreement grants AstraZeneca the option to acquire WuXi AppTec's biologics manufacturing capacity in Wuxi City in the next few years through an overall investment of roughly $100 million. Prior to that, Wuxi AppTec will be AstraZeneca's exclusive partner for R&D manufacturing for innovative biologics in China. This builds on MedImmune and WuXi AppTec's existing joint venture to develop and commercialize MEDI5117 in China.
Bahija Jallal, executive vice president of MedImmune, remarked: "We are delighted to broaden our collaboration with WuXi AppTec, a company with strong leadership in the Chinese biopharmaceutical sector, to address the healthcare needs of local patients. This strategic alliance, alongside our accelerated investments, will create a sustainable and strategic innovation platform in China and strengthen our leadership in developing next-generation biologics for both local needs and patients around the world."