AstraZeneca sells rights to Nexium and Vimovo in $815m deal

Pharmacists encouraged to take leading role in managing minor ailments
Credit: Federico Marsicano

AstraZeneca is divesting its prescription medicine rights to Nexium in Europe along with global rights (excluding US and Japan) to Vimovo to German pharma firm Grünenthal for $815 million.

Grünenthal is paying $700 million for Nexium and a further $115 million for Vimovo upfront. AstraZeneca could also receive future milestones and sales-related payments of up to $90 million and $17 million on each medicine respectively.

As well as the upfront cost, AstraZeneca could also receive future milestones and sales-relatd payments of up to $90 million.

Nexium has lost compound patent protection in most global markets. Vimovo is patent protected in most European markets until 2025.

Nexium, a proton pump inhibitor developed by AstraZeneca, helps to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach in patients with gastrointestinal reflux conditions and ulcers.

It has several indications, including the prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers induced by pain-relieving non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Vimovo is a modified-release fixed-dose combination tablet of naproxen, a pain-relieving NSAID and esomeprazole, the active ingredient in Nexium, for the treatment of various inflammatory diseases.

Mark Mallon, Executive Vice President, Global Product & Portfolio Strategy said: “The divestment agreements allow us to realise value from our successful medicines while redeploying our resources on developing innovative medicines for patients across our three main therapy areas, which we expect to drive growth for AstraZeneca.”