LONDON May 22 AstraZeneca has sold the
European rights to its ageing beta-blocker heart drug Seloken to
Italy's Recordati for $300 million, as part of a
continuing drive by the British drugmaker to spin off non-core
AstraZeneca is using funds from such disposals to help it
through an earnings trough caused by patent expiries on former
blockbuster medicines, while it waits for a new wave of drugs,
particularly for cancer, to deliver fresh growth.
It has described 2017 as a "pivotal" year and AstraZeneca's
head of portfolio strategy Mark Mallon said the deal "allows us
to concentrate our resources on bringing multiple new medicines
The two companies said on Monday that AstraZeneca would also
get tiered royalties from Recordati, initially at a double-digit
percentage rate, for European sales of Seloken and related
products. These sales totalled $110 million in 2016.
AstraZeneca, which retains rights to the beta-blocker
outside Europe, will continue to manufacture and ship product to
Recordati under a supply agreement.
The Italian group said acquiring the treatment for high
blood pressure, angina and heart failure would allow it to
expand into new markets. The acquisition will be funded by
existing funds and available credit lines, it added.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by Louise Heavens)