AstraZeneca to sell gastrointestinal drug Entocort to Tillotts Pharma

British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca today struck a deal to sell its gastrointestinal drug Entocort to Tillotts Pharma AG for $215 million.

AstraZeneca said that it has entered into an agreement with Tillotts Pharma, part of the Zeria Group, for selling the global rights of Entocort, outside the US, a gastroenterology drug for patients with mild to moderate Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Entocort is currently available in over 40 countries, with total sales of $53 million outside the US in 2014.

AstraZeneca has a partnership with Par Pharmaceutical for the sale of Entocort in the US.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tillotts will pay AstraZeneca $215 million upon completion of the transaction to acquire the rights to sell and develop Entocort capsules and enema formulations outside the US. The transaction does not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca employees or facilities.

Luke Miels, executive vice president, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy and Corporate Affairs, AstraZeneca, said, ''Our agreement with Tillotts reinforces our strategic focus on selected therapy areas and puts this important medicine in the hands of a company with specialist expertise in gastroenterology, which will benefit patients.''

''Entocort perfectly complements our Asacol portfolio marketed in 50 countries worldwide through our own European affiliates, our Japanese parent company Zeria Pharmaceutical and our trusted network of marketing partners. This acquisition underscores our commitment to continue to position Tillotts as a leading European specialised player in the field of gastroenterology, offering patients a wide range of treatments for the GI tract,'' said, Thomas Tóth von Kiskér, CEO of Tillotts.

The transaction is expected to complete in the second half of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions.