AstraZeneca to acquire Novexel for $350 million, expand alliance with Forest Labs

British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca yesterday said it is to acquire a French private infection research company Novexel for $350 million and collaborate with Forest Laboratories on the future co-development and commercialisation of two late-stage antibiotic drugs.

The London-based AstraZeneca, with 2008 revenue of $31.6 billion l has agreed to acquire 100 per cent of Paris-based Novexel's shares for $350 million in cash and pay an additional $75 million to Novexel shareholders if certain development milestones are reached.

AstraZeneca will also transfer to Novexel shareholders $80 million, an amount equivalent to the cash balance of Novexel at closing.

Under a separate agreement, AstraZeneca and New York based developer and manufacturer of both branded and generic forms of ethical drug products Forest Laboratories, Inc have agreed that Forest will pay Astra half the acquisition costs of Novexel and half of any milestone payments.

Forest will receive North American rights to another product involving NXL-104 and the drug ceftazidime and will no longer have to pay milestones and royalties that would have been owed from previous existing license arrangements with Novexel.

Forest signed an agreement with Novexel in January 2008 granting Forest rights to develop CEF104 in North America. AstraZeneca entered into an agreement with Forest in August 2009 to secure the rights to commercialise ceftaroline outside North America and Japan.