AstraZeneca sells Zomig, its migraine drug, to Grunenthal for up to £302m

Courtney Goldsmith
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The British firm is focusing more on cancer drugs (Source: Getty)

AstraZeneca today announced the sale of its migraine drug to Germany's Grunenthal.

The pharmaceuticals giant said Grunenthal will pay up to $302m (£234m) for the global rights outside Japan to its zolmitriptan drug, commercially called Zomig, which is used to treat migraines and cluster headaches.

Grunenthal will pay $200m upon completion of the deal and up to $102m in future milestone payments.

AstraZeneca is divesting from drugs like Zomig which are outside its strategic focus to concentrate instead on new medicines for cancer and other diseases.

In 2016, sales from Zomig outside Japan were worth $96m.

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Gabriel Baertschi, chief executive of Grunenthal said: "The acquisition of the well-established Zomig products complements our existing pain portfolio. Migraine has been one of the very few main pain indications we haven't yet been able to offer a solution for. This is an important step to reach our ambition to become a €2bn company by 2022. It will also support our efforts to bring four to five innovative products to market in the same timeframe."

Impax Pharmaceuticals, which had previously licensed rights to the drug in the US, will continue selling Zomig there, AstraZeneca said.

The transaction is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2017.

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