AstraZeneca will divest the prescription medicine rights to Nexium (esomeprazole) in Europe, as well as the global rights (excluding the US and Japan) to Vimovo (naproxen/esomeprazole) to the German pharmaceutical company Grünenthal, for uprfont payments of $815 million.
AstraZeneca said on Monday that, under the terms of the agreement, it has received payments of $700m for Nexium and $115m for Vimovo, which will be reported within Other Operating Income & Expense in its financial statements in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Gabriel Baertschi, CEO Grünenthal, said: “This transaction represents a significant step towards our vision of creating a world free of pain for patients. It is also is the biggest single investment in the history of our company. This transaction will double our EBITDA performance and significantly strengthen our leading position in pain management”.
Grünenthal siad that it aims to address a high unmet medical Need of patients on long-term high-dose NSAIDs with the acquisition. Despite all guidelines recommending gastrointestinal protection for these patients, evidence suggests that many remain unprotected and 1 out of 4 may develop stomach ulcer with its serious health complications. “Therefore, complementing Grünenthal’s extensive pain expertise with these well-established products is a perfect strategic fit,” Gabriel Baertschi explained. With this acquisition Grünenthal is expected to double its EBITDA performance, the company said in its press release on Monday.
AstraZeneca said it will keep the earnings from Nexium in markets outside Europe, while it won’t hold any ownership rights to Vimovo globally.
Nexium (esomeprazole) is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcers, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. It is also used for the prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers induced by pain-relieving NSAIDs. The rights to over-the-counter Nexium were externalised to Pfizer Consumer Health in 2012.
Vimovo (naproxen/esomeprazole) modified-release tablet is a fixed-dose combination of naproxen, a pain-relieving NSAID and esomeprazole, the active ingredient in Nexium. It is indicated for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis in patients who are at risk of developing NSAID-associated gastric ulcers and/or duodenal ulcers and where treatment with lower doses of naproxen or of other NSAIDs is not considered sufficient. The rights to Vimovo in the United States were externalised to Horizon Pharma in 2013.