Divestment of rights to Covis Pharma

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6 November 2018 07:00 GMT

Divestment of rights to Alvesco,
Omnaris and Zetonna to Covis Pharma

AstraZeneca has entered into an agreement with Covis Pharma B.V. (Covis Pharma) 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. The rights cover markets outside the US and the US royalties for the medicines. Covis Pharma currently commercialises AlvescoOmnaris and Zetonna in the US and will become the owner of the medicines upon closing. The transaction does not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca employees or facilities.

Mark Mallon, Executive Vice President, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy, said: "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 AlvescoOmnaris and Zetonna."

Michael Porter, Chief Executive Officer, Covis Pharma, said: "This is an exciting milestone for Covis Pharma and aligned with our strategy to build a global respiratory/allergy franchise. When we acquired the US rights for AlvescoOmnaris and Zetonna in 2017, we recognised the importance of these medicines in the respiratory and allergy therapeutic area and we look forward to extending our reach to meet the needs of patients and physicians around the world."

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.

Financial Considerations

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 subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to complete by the end of 2018. As AstraZeneca will not maintain a significant ongoing interest in the medicines following completion, the payments will be recognised as Other Operating Income in the Company's financial statements. Combined 2017 Product Sales of AlvescoOmnaris and Zetonna, recorded by AstraZeneca, were $106 million.The agreement does not affect the Company's financial guidance for 2018.

About Covis Pharma

Covis Pharma is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland and is a global speciality pharmaceutical company that markets therapeutic solutions for patients with life-threatening conditions and chronic illnesses. Additional information is available at www.covispharma.com.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism and Respiratory. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZeneca.

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Adrian Kemp
Company Secretary 
AstraZeneca PLC 

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