AstraZeneca to acquire Takeda's respiratory business for $575 million

Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca is acquiring the core respiratory business of Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited in a deal worth $575 million (£383 million), giving itself access to a key drug to treat lung disease.

The deal will include the rights to roflumilast, an important treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is marketed under the brand name Daliresp in the US and Daxas in Europe, and the only approved oral PDE4 inhibitor for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the company stated in a release.

AstraZeneca has already been marketing Daliresp in the US since the acquisition of the rights from Actavis in the first quarter of 2015. Full acquisition of the global rights will support AstraZeneca's respiratory franchise and complement the company's portfolio of treatments for severe COPD.

Full global rights following the Takeda deal will support AstraZeneca's core respiratory business and complement its portfolio of existing treatments. It also means that AstraZeneca will no longer have to make royalty payments for the medicine in the US.

With the deal, AstraZeneca will get a number of other respiratory products, including Alvesco and Omnaris, brand names for ciclesonide, a steroid that reduces inflammation. The drug is administered through an inhaler for people with asthma under the Alvesco brand and in a nasal spray format to treat bunged-up noses under the Omnaris label.

The agreement will also provide AstraZeneca with access to other marketed respiratory medicines and early pipeline products.

Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will pay $575 million.

Approximately 200 staff will transfer to AstraZeneca upon completion.

"The agreement with Takeda complements our respiratory business, one of our three main therapy areas, supports our return to growth and will be immediately accretive to earnings from 2016. Daxas in particular adds to our portfolio of treatments for patients with severe COPD,'' Luke Miels, executive vice president - global portfolio and product strategy at AstraZeneca, said.

Annual global sales of the three core medicines acquired, excluding any AstraZeneca sales of Daliresp in the US, were $198 million for the period ending March 2015.

The transaction will be accounted for as a business combination and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions. It is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings from 2016.

AstraZeneca said it will give full Year 2016 guidance along with the full year 2015 results on 4 February 2016.