AstraZeneca share price little changed as pharmco sells gout drug rights

on Jun 2, 2016
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) has agreed to sell the European and Latin American rights to its new gout drug Zurampic for $230 million (£159 million), the London-listed pharmco has said. The deal follows a similar disposal of the Anglo-Swedish group’s US rights to the treatment.

AstraZeneca’s share price has been little changed in London this morning, having inched 0.04 percent higher to 4,017.00p as of 09:15 BST. The shares are slightly underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which has climbed 0.13 percent to stand at 6,200.20 points.
AstraZeneca announced in a statement this morning that it had entered into a licensing agreement with Grünenthal for the exclusive rights to its gout drug lesinurad, marketed as Zurampic, in Europe and Latin America. Grünenthal will also acquire the exclusive rights to the fixed-dose combination of lesinurad and allopurinol in these markets, with the combination currently undergoing clinical trials.

Under the terms of the deal, the German group will pay AstraZeneca up to $230 million in sales and other related milestones over the lifetime of the contract, as well as tiered, low double-digit royalties on annual product sales.
“This agreement allows us to further focus our resources on our strategic priorities,” AstraZeneca’s Executive Vice President, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy Luke Miles commented in the statement.
The deal with Grünenthal comes after the Anglo-Swedish group inked a $265-million deal in April to offload the rights to lesinurad in the US to Ironwood Pharmaceuticals. The deals highlight the London-listed pharmco’s strategy to sell rights of its non-core assets as it looks to focus on several growth platforms, expected to deliver sales of $45 billion by 2023.
In analyst news, Beaufort Securities reiterated its ‘hold’ stance on AstraZeneca this week, without specifying a valuation on the shares. Goldman Sachs, which is bearish on the stock with a ‘sell’ rating, set a price target of 3,700p on the stock.
As of 09:48 BST, Thursday, 02 June, AstraZeneca plc share price is 4,024.00p.