AstraZeneca to divest Caprelsa; inks $300 million deal with Sanofi’s Genzyme

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In a major divestment move AstraZeneca has decided to transfer the global rights to sell and develop Caprelsa to Genzyme – a deal that will see the former net $300 million.

Caprelsa (vandetanib) is a rare disease medicine used for treatment of aggressive and symptomatic medullary thyroid carcinoma. The drug was granted an Orphan Drug Designation by the US FDA in 2005 and with availability in 28 countries across the globe, the global product sales of the drug stood at $48 million in 2014.

AstraZeneca will receive an upfront payment of $165 million and up to $135 million as a further development and sales milestone payments later on.

Luke Miels, Executive Vice President, Global Product & Portfolio Strategy and Corporate Affairs, AstraZeneca, said that the deal with Genzyme will ensure that patients will have continued access to Caprelsa while AstraZeneca concentrates its efforts on key disease areas.

Genzyme is a pioneer in development and delivery of transformative therapies for patients affected by rare and debilitating diseases for over 30 years. The company focuses on rare diseases and multiple sclerosis. Genzyme’s President and CEO, David Meeker, MD, has pegged the deal and addition of Caprelsa to company’s portfolio as a strong strategic fit that will strengthen Genzyme’s commitment to addressing unmet needs in the thyroid community.

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.