Drugs giant Pfizer has agreed a deal to buy AstraZeneca’s late-stage small molecule anti-infectives business for a fee which could reach around $1.5 billion.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will make an upfront payment of $550 million to AstraZeneca upon the close of the transaction and a deferred payment of $175 million in January 2019. In addition, AstraZeneca is eligible to receive up to $250 million in milestone payments, up to $600 million in sales-related payments, as well as tiered royalties on sales of products.
But what products has Pfizer bought the rights to?
Zinforo was launched in October 2012 and is an intravenous cephalosporin antibiotic intended for use as a monotherapy in the treatment of adult patients with complicated skin and soft tissue infections (cSSTI) or community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Zinforo is bactericidal and works by binding to and inhibiting penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs). Zinforo has now been approved in 52 markets and launched in 32 markets.
AstraZeneca holds the global rights to commercialize Zinforo, with the exception of North America and Japan, where the rights are held by Allergan Pharmaceutical Industries Limited and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, respectively.
Zavicefta (ceftazidime-avibactam) is a combination antibiotic that has been developed to treat serious Gram-negative bacterial infections. It consists of a combination of avibactam and ceftazidime – a third generation antipseudomonal cephalosporin with a well-established efficacy and safety profile.
AstraZeneca holds the global rights to commercialize Zavicefta, with the exception of North America, where the rights are held by Allergan.
Merrem/Meronem is a carbapenem anti-bacterial used for the treatment of serious infections in hospitalised patients. Meronem is a broad spectrum agent indicated for the treatment of a wide variety of serious bacterial infections in adults and children, including pneumonia, community acquired pneumonia and nosocomial pneumonia; broncho-pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis; complicated urinary tract infections; complicated intra-abdominal infections; intra- and post-partum infections; complicated skin and soft tissue infections; and acute bacterial meningitis in adults and children over three months of age. In the U.S., Merrem is indicated as single agent therapy for the treatment of intra-abdominal infections and bacterial meningitis when caused by susceptible strains of the designated microorganisms in adult and paediatric patients.
AstraZeneca holds the global rights to commercialize Merrem, with the exception of Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea, where the rights are held by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. In parallel with the transaction, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. will have the option to acquire the commercial rights to Merrem in Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
ATM-AVI is a bactericidal, injectable combination of aztreonam (ATM) and a β-lactamase inhibitor, avibactam (AVI, NXL104), which is in development for the treatment of life-threatening Gram-negative bacterial infections caused by multi-drug resistant (MDR) strains, including infections caused by metallo-beta-lactamase (MBL)-producing pathogens. ATM-AVI has the potential to be a replacement for, or alternative to, existing antibacterial agents, including colistin and tigecycline. ATM-AVI has completed its Phase I studies and is currently in Phase II development.
AstraZeneca holds the global rights to commercialize ATM-AVI, with the exception of North America, where the rights are held by Allergan.
CXL is a novel, injectable bactericidal β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combination of ceftaroline fosamil (marketed asZinforo in AstraZeneca markets), a next-generation cephalosporin with activity against multidrug-resistant Gram-positive and common enteric Gram-negative pathogens, and avibactam (AVI, NXL104), a potent β-lactamase inhibitor that inhibits Ambler Class A (including ESBL producers and KPC carbapenemases), Class C (Amp C) β-lactamase enzymes, and some Class D β-lactamase enzymes.
AstraZeneca holds the global rights to commercialize CXL, with the exception of North America, where the rights are held by Allergan.
Commenting on the deal, John Young, group president, Pfizer Essential Health, said: “As we continue to reshape our Essential Health portfolio, we are focusing on areas that further address global public health needs and that complement our core capabilities and experience in therapeutic areas, including anti-infectives.
“We are committed to looking for ways to enhance our portfolio around the world where we offer patients and healthcare professionals access to more than 60 anti-infective and anti-fungal medicines. The addition of AstraZeneca’s complementary small molecule anti-infectives portfolio will help expand patient access to these important medicines and enhance our global expertise and offerings in this increasingly important area of therapeutics, in addition to providing the opportunity for near-term revenue growth.”
Read the August 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.