25 Aug 2016
Pfizer Inc. will acquire an antibiotics business from AstraZeneca Plc for $725 million.
Background about the deal:
New York-based Pfizer has been looking for ways to bolster both its pipeline and portfolio of marketed drugs after two failed attempts at a major acquisition, first with AstraZeneca in 2014, then with Allergan Plc this year. The U.S. drugmaker this week agreed to buy Medivation Inc., maker of the Xtandi prostate cancer drug, in a $14 billion deal.
AstraZeneca, meanwhile, has been shoring up its declining revenue by licensing out and selling assets that aren’t central to its business, enabling investment in focus areas like cancer research. The London-based drugmaker in June sold rights to its anesthetics medicines, another non-essential area, to Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. Revenue from “externalization,” as the company calls it, and divestments was $2.3 billion last year, and AstraZeneca has said it would generate more than that this year.
Financials about the deal:
Pfizer will pay $550 million to AstraZeneca when the transaction closes and make another payment of $175 million in January 2019. In addition, AstraZeneca is eligible to receive as much as $250 million in milestone payments, up to $600 million in sales-related payments, as well as certain royalties.
Why AstraZeneca disinvests?
Antibiotic segment is not the core selling range for AZ. As a result of the divestment, AstraZeneca will stop further working on that segment.
Why Pfizer looking for AstraZeneca’s antibiotic business?
Pfizer is buying rights to several of AstraZeneca’s experimental and approved antibiotics in global markets outside the U.S., including Zavicefta, which is used to treat severe bacterial infections resistant to other drugs — an area of growing need. The transaction will give Pfizer rights to three medicines already on the market, including Zavicefta, which was approved by the European Commission in June. It also gives Pfizer two drugs that are still in clinical development, including one to treat methicillin-resistant staphylococcus, or MRSA, infections.