Astellas Pharma will sell its global dermatology business to LEO Pharma for €675 million ($724.7 million), a year after the seller lost U.S. patent exclusivity on its top skincare drug.
Astellas has focus on following key therapeutic segments:
- Infectious disease
LEO Pharma will acquire the assets and associated responsibilities relating to Astellas’ treatments of acne and skin infections including Protopic® for atopic dermatitis in most of the world, and other products predominantly sold in the Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) region. Not covered by the deal is Protopic in Japan, where distribution rights were transferred by Astellas to Maruho last year.
In the U.S., Protopic is indicated as a second-line therapy for the short-term and non-continuous chronic treatment of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in non-immunocompromised adults and children who have failed to respond adequately to other topical prescription treatments for atopic dermatitis, or when those treatments are not advisable.
Sales of Protopic in the “Americas” region that includes the U.S. plunged 19.3% in the fiscal year that ended March 31, to $94 million “mainly due to generic drugs launched in the U.S. from November 2014,” Astellas stated in its 2015 Annual Report. Astellas lost U.S. patent protection on Protopic last year.
By contrast, Protopic sales in EMEA grew 7% to €56 million ($60 million), and 33% to ¥3.4 billion (about $27.7 million) in Asia & Oceania.
In addition to Protopic, Astellas’ dermatology portfolio of prescription and over-the-counter products includes Locoid® and Locobase® for skin care and Zineryt® for acne.
This deal is largest-ever for Leo Pharma. Leo already has established dematology busines. The company’s dermatology focus includes actinic keratosis and psoriasis—for which LEO markets Taclonex® ointment and Taclonex® Scalp, as well as Donovex® cream. Last month, the FDA approved the company’s once-daily, alcohol-free foam spray Enstilar® for plaque psoriasis in adults.