AstraZeneca sells drug for $215m to Tillotts as it focuses on core products

James Nickerson
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AstraZeneca will slim down to focus on core products (Source: Getty)

AstraZeneca has sold a gastrointestinal drug to Tillotts Pharma, a Swiss based pharmaceutical company, for $215m (£140m) as it slims down to focus on cancer and other core products.

The British-Swedish multinational has disposed of all non-US rights for Entocort, a treatment for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, in the most recent of a string of deals that will allow the company to put more resources into bringing a new generation of medicines to market.

Read more: AstraZeneca chief executive questions UK's commitment to treating cancer

Entocort sold in 40 countries outside the US in 2014, with sales of $53m.

Last month co-marketing rights for a new constipation pill were sold to Daiichi Sankyo for $200m, while antibiotics assets have been spun-off, with an experimental drug for dementia put into partnership with Eli Lilly.

Shares in AstraZeneca have fallen seven per cent this year as grew investors wary that growth promised by chief executive Pascal Soriot would not be as strong as expected.

Read more: AstraZeneca share price dips despite rise in profits and unchanged outlook

Soriot has argued spinning off non-core businesses will help the company’s finances and allow it to invest for the future. The company is optimistic, but is facing declining sales as patent protection expires.

The transaction is expected to complete in the second half of 2015. AstraZeneca said it would reinforce its strategic focus on areas including cancer, diabetes and respiratory disease.

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