AstraZeneca share price: Pharmco continues with drug rights divestments

Company sells some rights to respiratory treatments to Covis Pharma

AstraZeneca share price: Pharmco continues with drug rights divestments

AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) has continued to offload non-core treatments, having divested some rights to asthma drug Alvesco and rhinitis treatments Omnaris and Zetonna. The move comes as the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker prepares to update investors on its year-to-date and third quarter performance this Thursday.

AstraZeneca’s share price rose in the previous session, gaining 2.53 percent to close at 5,877.00p, outperforming the broader UK market. The pharmco’s shares have added more than 13 percent to their value over the past year.

Divestments continue

AstraZeneca announced in a statement today that it had entered into an agreement with Covis Pharma to sell its rights to the medicines Alvesco, used for the treatment of persistent asthma, and Omnaris and Zetonna, used for the treatment of nasal symptoms associated with rhinitis. The rights cover markets outside the US and the US royalties for the medicines. Covis Pharma currently commercialises Alvesco, Omnaris and Zetonna in the US and will become the owner of the medicines upon closing.

Under the terms of the deal, Covis will pay AstraZeneca $350 million upon closing, in addition to conditional sales-related payments of up to $21 million over four years from 2019. 

“One of our strategic objectives is to divest parts of our portfolio, allowing us to allocate resources to develop innovative new medicines to address unmet patient needs,” Mark Mallon, Executive Vice President, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy at AstraZeneca, commented in the statement. Today’s divestment comes after the Anglo-Swedish group inked a deal last week to offload some rights to its heartburn treatment Nexium and arthritis drug Vimovo, for what could be nearly $1 billion. 

Analyst ratings update

JPMorgan Chase & Co reaffirmed AstraZeneca as a ‘buy’ last week, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip drugmaker currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 5,777.58p.

As of 08:08 GMT, Tuesday, 06 November, AstraZeneca plc share price is 5,877.00p.

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