AstraZeneca to sell the US rights of Crohn disease drug Entocort to Perrigo

British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca yesterday said that it would sell the US rights to the medicine of its Crohn disease drug Entocort to Perrigo for $380 million.

The sale is part of the London-based company's plan of selling non-core drugs in order to generate short-term revenue amid falling sales of patent expired drugs.

The sale also comes less than a year after AstraZeneca agreed to sell the global rights of gastrointestinal drug Entocort outside the US to Tillotts Pharma AG for $215 million, thyroid cancer treatment drug Caprelsa to Sanofi for $300 million and lipodystrophy treatment drug Myalept to Aegerion Pharmaceuticals for $325 million.

Under the terms of the Entocort agreement, Perrigo will pay AstraZeneca $380 million upon completion of the transaction to acquire the rights to sell Entocort capsules and the authorised generic Entocort capsules marketed by Par Pharmaceuticals.

The transaction does not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca employees or facilities.

Luke Miels, executive vice president, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy at AstraZeneca, said: ''Our agreement with Perrigo completes the global divestment of Entocort, emphasising our strategic focus on three main therapy areas and providing further simplification of our supply chain.''

Joseph Papa, chairman, president and CEO of Perrigo, said, ''The addition of Entocort represents a strong strategic fit with our portfolio of prescription medicines. It supports our commitment to providing effective, affordable treatments to patients with gastroenterological conditions and we look forward to building on the brand's success in the US market.''

Entocort, which has US sales of $89 million in the first nine months of 2015, is a first-line therapy indicated for the induction and maintenance of clinical remission of mild to moderate active Crohn's disease involving the ileum and/or the ascending colon.

As an enema, Entocort is indicated for the induction and maintenance of clinical remission of distal ulcerative colitis in the rectum, sigmoid colon and descending colon.