AstraZeneca sells off Seroquel rights in Europe and Russia

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AstraZeneca has agreed to the sale and license of the commercial rights toSeroquel andSeroquel XR(extended release) in Europe and Russia to German-based Cheplapharm.

SeroquelandSeroquelXR, used in treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, have lost patent protection in Europe and Russia.

The drug was reportedly developed at AstraZeneca’s now-razed labs near Wilmington. The company has since moved out of the mental health drug sector while focusing on areas such as cancer and diabetes.

Ruud Dobber, executive vice president, biopharmaceuticals, said: “Seroquelis an important established medicine and this agreement with Cheplapharm will help ensure continued patient access. It forms part of our strategy of reducing the portfolio of mature medicines to enable reinvestment in our main therapy areas.”

AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supplySeroquelandSeroquel XRto Cheplapharm during a transition period.

At the end of 2018, aggregate pre-tax profits attributable toSeroquelandSeroquel XR were $86 million.

Cheplapharm will make an upfront payment of $178m to AstraZeneca and may also make future sales-contingent payments of up to $61m.

In 2018,Seroquel generated annual product sales of$47 million in the markets covered by this agreement, whileSeroquel XRgenerated $61million.

AstraZeneca has previously disposed of the rights toSeroquelandSeroquel XRin the UK, Japan and other major international markets.

A powerful drug, Seroquel, one of AstraZeneca blockbusters, ended up in litigation over its “off label” use for more minor mental health conditions.

Side effects included weight gain and its associated conditions.

AstraZeneca has about 1,500 employees in northern Delaware.

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