The FINANCIAL — AstraZeneca today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Genzyme to divest Caprelsa (vandetanib), a rare disease medicine.
Caprelsa was granted Orphan Drug Designation by the US FDA in 2005 and is currently available in 28 countries for the treatment of aggressive and symptomatic medullary thyroid carcinoma, with global product sales of $48 million in 2014, according to AstraZeneca.
Under the terms of the agreement, Genzyme will pay AstraZeneca up to $300 million, including an upfront payment of $165 million to acquire the global rights to sell and develop Caprelsa, and further development and sales milestone payments of up to $135 million. The transaction does not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca employees or facilities. As an asset divestment, upfront receipt and any subsequent payments will be reported in Other Operating Income in the Company’s financial statements.
Luke Miels, Executive Vice President, Global Product & Portfolio Strategy and Corporate Affairs, AstraZeneca, said: “Caprelsa is a rare disease therapy and the divestment to Genzyme, an expert leader in endocrinology, demonstrates our commitment to ensure patients continue to have access to this medicine while we sharpen our focus on key disease areas.”
Genzyme’s President and CEO, David Meeker, MD, said: “The addition of Caprelsa represents a strong strategic fit for our rare endocrinology portfolio and underscores Genzyme’s commitment to addressing unmet needs in the thyroid community. We look forward to bringing our rare disease expertise to appropriate patients with advanced stage thyroid carcinoma.”
The divestment transaction is subject to closing conditions, including the receipt of antitrust clearance from the US Federal Trade Commission. The transaction is expected to complete in the second half of 2015 and does not impact AstraZeneca’s financial guidance for 2015.