AstraZeneca has agreed to sell the commercial rights to Seroquel and Seroquel XR in the U.S. and Canada to Cheplapharm. Seroquel and Seroquel XR, which is used primarily to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, have lost their compound patent protection in the U.S. and Canada.
"This divestment supports our strategy of reducing the number of mature medicines to enable reinvestment in our main therapy areas," said Ruud Dobber, executive vice president of AstraZeneca's biopharmaceuticals business unit. "Cheplapharm recently agreed to acquire the commercial rights to Seroquel and Seroquel XR in most European markets and Russia from AstraZeneca and this new agreement will help ensure continued patient access to this important established medicine in North America as well."
AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply Seroquel and Seroquel XR to Cheplapharm during a transition period.
Cheplapharm will make an upfront payment of $35 million to AstraZeneca and may also make future sales-contingent payments of up to $6 million. In 2018, Seroquel generated sales of $36 million in the markets covered by this agreement, while Seroquel XR generated $79 million.
Seroquel and Seroquel XR are atypical anti-psychotic medicines with antidepressant properties. The main indications for Seroquel are the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Seroquel XR is also approved in some markets for major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.
AstraZeneca previously divested the rights to Seroquel and Seroquel XR in the UK, Japan and other international markets. AstraZeneca also agreed to divest the rights to the medicines in Europe and Russia to Cheplapharm earlier in 2019, a transaction that is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances.
Read the full AstraZeneca release