AstraZeneca licenses cancer drug Zoladex to TerSera Therapeutics

AstraZeneca has entered into an agreement with US-based TerSera Therapeutics LLC (TerSera) for the commercial rights to Zoladex (goserelin acetate implant) in the US and Canada.

Zoladex is an injectable luteinising hormone-releasing hormone-agonist, used to treat prostate cancer, breast cancer and certain benign gynaecological disorders. It was first approved in the US and Canada in 1989.

TerSera will pay AstraZeneca $250 million upon completion of the deal. AstraZeneca will also receive sales-related income through milestones totalling up to $70 million, as well as recurring quarterly sales-based payments at mid-teen per cent of product sales.

AstraZeneca will also manufacture and supply Zoladex to TerSera, providing a further source of ongoing income from Zoladex in the US and Canada.

''This agreement allows us to retain a significant share of the value of Zoladex in the US and Canada, while concentrating our resources on our innovative New Oncology medicines. It also ensures patients have continued access to Zoladex, with TerSera's dedicated focus helping to expand the potential of this important medicine,'' Mark Mallon, executive vice president, global product and portfolio strategy at AstraZeneca, said.

''We are very pleased to be partnering with AstraZeneca, and investing in the future growth of Zoladex, which continues to be a mainstay of treatment for its indicated uses,'' Ed Fiorentino, chairman and CEO of TerSera Therapeutics, said.

Zoladex had 2016 sales of $69 million in the US and Canada, and $816 million globally.

AstraZeneca will continue to commercialise Zoladex in all markets outside the US and Canada. The transaction is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.

AstraZeneca will maintain a significant ongoing interest in Zoladex in the US and Canada through the sustainable and ongoing income from the upfront, milestone, quarterly sales-based and supply payments received from TerSera.

The $250 million upfront, $70 million milestone payments and double-digit percentage quarterly sales-based payments received from TerSera will be reported as externalisation revenue in the company's financial statements.

The agreement does not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca employees or facilities and does not impact AstraZeneca's financial guidance for 2017, the company stated.

TerSera Therapeutics LLC acquires, develops and markets specialty pharmaceutical products with a focus on select therapeutic areas.