AstraZeneca has agreed to sell the rights to its Seroquel schizophrenia treatment to China-based Luye Phara for $538m.
The deal gives Luye the rights to Seroquel and Seroquel XR in the UK, China and other international markets, including Brazil, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Argentina, Malaysia and South Africa.
Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate, immediate release, IR) and Seroquel XR (extended release formulation) are atypical anti-psychotic medicines with antidepressant properties.
Seroquel was developed to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, while Seroquel XR is used to treat major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.
Seroquel has lost its compound patent protection across the globe, while Seroquel XR formulation patents were also expired in most of the markets.
As part of prior agreements, AstraZeneca rendered the rights to Seroquel and Seroquel XR in Japan and Venezuela.
AstraZeneca global product and portfolio strategy executive vice president Mark Mallon said: “The agreement with Luye Pharma is in line with AstraZeneca’s strategy to focus on three main therapy areas while maximising the value from our legacy medicines like Seroquel.
As part of the deal, AstraZeneca will secure $538m, including $260m following closure of the deal, from Luye Pharma.
The deal also includes milestone payments based on the successful transition of certain activities to Luye.
During transition period, AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and distribute Seroquel and Seroquel XR to Luye Pharma.
Subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances, the deal is expected to complete by the end of second quarter this year.
Luye Pharma (International) head Dr Yehong Zhang said: “Central nervous system diseases continue to present a challenge to patients and healthcare systems across the world. This transaction represents another step in our effort to build a portfolio and platform to help address this issue.”