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AstraZeneca share price: Group offloads European rights to heart drug

AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) has inked a deal to offload the European rights to its heart drug Atacand, the blue-chip company has said. The news comes ahead of the Anglo-Swedish group’s results this Thursday.

AstraZeneca’s share price has inched higher in London in today’s session, having added 0.11 percent to 5,591.00p as of 13:34 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.87 percent higher at 7,722.12 points. The group’s shares have added a little over 10 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 4.3-percent gain in the Footsie.

AstraZeneca sells Atacand rights

AstraZeneca announced in a statement today that it had agreed to sell the commercial rights to heart failure and hypertension treatments Atacand and Atacand Plus in Europe to Cheplapharm Arzneimittel. The agreement, which is expected to wrap up in the third quarter of the year, will see the FTSE 100 group land $200 million on completion of the deal as well as a time-bound payment of $10 million and sales-contingent milestones.

“This agreement forms part of our strategy of streamlining our portfolio of mature medicines to enable reinvestment in our main therapy areas,” Mark Mallon, Executive Vice President, Global Product & Portfolio Strategy at the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, commented in the statement. AstraZeneca has inked a string of licence deals in the past few years as it looks to focus on a limited number of therapy areas to propel growth.

Drop in Q2 earnings expected

AstraZeneca is scheduled to update investors on its second-quarter performance tomorrow and IG reports that the group’s earnings are expected to have seen a 25-percent drop in headline earnings per share, to 64.6 cents, while revenues are expected to have climbed 2.2 percent to $5.16 billion.

As of 13:57 BST, Tuesday, 24 July, AstraZeneca plc share price is 5,578.00p.

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