AstraZeneca acquires Actavis's respiratory business for $600 million

AstraZeneca Plc, the UK's second-biggest pharmaceutical group, today announced that it will acquire Actavis Plc's branded respiratory drug business in the US and Canada in a $600 million deal, to expand its own respiratory drug business. 

AstraZeneca will pay another $100 million to Actavis on its agreeing to certain specified changes in the current collaborations between the two.

The news comes after rival drug giant Pfizer agreed to pay about $15 billion for Hospira, maker of generic drugs in the US.

AstraZeneca, which fended off a £69 billion takeover attempt by Pfizer last year, announced the deal after it unveiled a disappointing fourth-quarter results where sales declined 2 per cent to $6.7 billion and core earnings per share fell 38 per cent to 76 cents.

AstraZeneca chief Pascal Soriot, however, said the company was on track to return to growth by 2017 and was well positioned to deliver its long-term goals.

The company predicted annual revenues would be up over 75 per cent to $45 billion by 2023.

Acquiring the business from Actavis could help AstraZeneca achieve its targets, as respiratory treatments were one of its main therapeutic areas.

Upon completion of the transaction, AstraZeneca would come to own development and commercial rights in the US and Canada to Tudorza Pressair (aclidinium bromide inhalation powder), a twice-daily long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and Daliresp (roflumilast), the only once-daily oral PDE4 inhibitor currently on the market for COPD reported.

The two products had combined annual sales in the US of approximately $230 million in 2014.  Additionally the company would get to own development rights in the US and Canada for LAS40464, the combination of a fixed dose of aclidinium with formoterol long acting beta agonist (LAMA/LABA) in a dry powder inhaler, which was approved in the EU under the brand name Duaklir Genuair.

According to Brent Saunders, chief executive officer and president of Actavis, this divestiture would allow Actavis to sharpen its strategic focus and sales and marketing activities on its larger, core therapeutic categories in CNS, women's health, urology, GI, anti-infectives and cardiovascular, as well as in dermatology/aesthetics and ophthalmology, which will be added to our global brand portfolio following the completion of the Allergan acquisition later this year.