Business & Finance
AstraZeneca divests global rights to Movantik to RedHill Biopharma for USD52.5m upfront
26 February 2020 -

AstraZeneca Plc (STO:AZN) (LON:AZN), a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company, announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to sublicense its global rights to Movantik (naloxegol), excluding Europe, Canada and Israel, to RedHill Biopharma (RedHill).

Movantik is a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist (PAMORA) indicated for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC).

Under this deal, RedHill will make an upfront payment of USD52.5m to AstraZeneca on closing and a further non-contingent payment of USD15m in 2021. Income arising from the upfront payment, offset by a charge for derecognition of the associated intangible asset, as well as the future payment will be reported in AstraZeneca's financial statements within Other Operating Income & Expense. In 2019, Movantik generated sales of USD96m in the US.

According to the company, this divestment supports its strategy to realise value from medicines in its portfolio that are mature or outside its current scope to enable reinvestment in its main therapy areas. Movantik is an important established medicine and the divestment to RedHill will ensure its continued availability for patients."

Also, as a part of this agreement, AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply Movantik to RedHill during a transition period. In 2015, AstraZeneca had entered into a co-commercialisation agreement with Daiichi Sankyo Inc for Movantik in the US, which will be transferred to RedHill.

This divestment is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances. Upon completion, the agreement will not impact the company's financial guidance for 2020.

AstraZeneca is focussed on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in the three therapy areas of Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism and Respiratory.