Saturday, December, 15, 2018 12:25:13

AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical firm headquartered in Cambridge, has confirmed the sale of the U.S. rights to Synagis®, which is used for preventing respiratory tract infections, to specialty biopharmaceutical company Sobi AB. The multibillion-dollar deal would also involve nearly 130 workers being transferred to the Swedish company.

Synagis helps to prevent infections in the lower respiratory tract that are caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The profit and losses of AstraZeneca in the U.S. is related to the probable new medicine MEDI8897. The company would continue developing MEDI8897 in partnership with the vaccines division of Sanofi, Sanofi Pasteur.

AstraZeneca’s chief executive officer, Pascal Soriot was quoted saying that the company continues to streamline its portfolio which has allowed AstraZeneca to allocate resources with more efficiency. The focus of Sobi in Synagis would enable infants in the U.S. to continue enjoying the benefits of this significant treatment option, Soriot mentioned.

For AstraZeneca, the successfully developing and commercializing MEDI8897 remains an important focus, said Guido Oelkers, president and chief executive officer for Sobi. The company has added Synagis to its product portfolio because it remains the only treatment that prevents RSV infection among the vulnerable patient population, which has tremendous medical needs, he added.

According to sources with knowledge of the matter, AstraZeneca would be receiving US$1 billion in cash and US$500 million in Sobi’s ordinary shares on completion of the deal, bringing the total upfront consideration to US$1.5 billion. The company will also benefit from up to US$470 million in payments associated with the sales of Synagis, a US$175 million milestone after the Biologics License Application for MEDI8897 has been submitted.

In addition, there would potentially be net payments of about US$110 million on achieving other MEDI8897 development and profit-related milestones, the sources said. A total non-contingent payment of US$60 million for MEDI8897 for the 2019-2021 period is also a part of the deal.