AstraZeneca has entered into an agreement with Covis Pharma B.V. (Switzerland) to sell its rights to the medicines Alvesco (ciclesonide), used for the treatment of persistent asthma, and Omnaris and Zetonna (ciclesonide), used for the treatment of nasal symptoms associated with rhinitis.
Alvesco is an inhaled anti-inflammatory maintenance therapy delivered by a metered-dose inhaler to help control persistent asthma. Omnaris and Zetonna are nasal sprays for the treatment of nasal symptoms associated with seasonal allergic and allergic/non-allergic perennial rhinitis. The active ingredient in all three medicines is ciclesonide, a synthetic corticosteroid that helps relieve inflammation.
Mark Mallon, AstraZeneca’s Executive Vice President, commented:
“One of our strategic objectives is to divest parts of our portfolio, allowing us to allocate resources to develop innovative new medicines to address unmet patient needs. Covis Pharma has strong capabilities in marketing medicines around the world, and our agreement with them means patients will continue to benefit from Alvesco, Omnaris and Zetonna.”
The rights cover markets outside the US and the US royalties for the medicines. Covis Pharma currently commercialises Alvesco, Omnaris and Zetonna in the USA and will become the owner of the medicines upon closing.
Covis Pharma will pay AstraZeneca $350 million upon closing, in addition to conditional sales-related payments of up to $21 million over four years from 2019. The agreement is expected to complete by the end of 2018.