AstraZeneca will acquire the rights to Almirall’s respiratory franchise for an initial payment of $875 million and up to $1.22 billion in development, launch, and sales-related milestones according to a company news announcement.

The companies anticipate the transaction will complete by the end of 2014, after which AstraZeneca will own the rights for the development and commercialization of Almirall’s existing proprietary respiratory business as well as its pipeline of investigational novel therapies.

AstraZenaca’s own respiratory portfolio already  includes Symbicort and Pulmicort. The Almirall franchise includes:

  • Eklira (aclidinium);
  • LAS40464, the combination of aclidinium with formoterol which has been filed for registration in the EU and is being developed in the US;
  • LAS100977 (abediterol), a once-daily long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) in Phase II;
  • An M3 antagonist beta2-agonist (MABA) platform in pre-clinical development (LAS191351, LAS194871) and Phase I (LAS190792);
  • And multiple pre-clinical programs.

Under the agreement, Almirall Sofotec, an Almirall subsidiary focused on the development of innovative proprietary devices, will also transfer to AstraZeneca.

“Our agreement with Almirall brings strategic and long-term value to AstraZeneca’s strong respiratory franchise, one of our key growth platforms. ” said Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca. “Chronic respiratory disease affects hundreds of millions of people around the world. By combining our innovative portfolios and leveraging AstraZeneca’s global scientific and commercial capabilities, we will strengthen our ability to address the entire spectrum of care in asthma and COPD.”