AstraZeneca sells U.S. rights of Crohn's drug to Perrigo

Biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca recently agreed to sell the U.S. rights to its Crohn's disease drug Entocort to Perrigo Company for $380 million.

The deal will enable the Ireland-based over-the-counter drugs manufacturer to sell both Entocort capsules and the generic version by Par Pharmaceuticals. Entocort is a gastroenterology medicine used to treat individuals suffering from mild-to-moderate Crohn's disease.

Luke Miels, executive vice president of global product and portfolio strategy for AstraZeneca, said the agreement with Perrigo not only completes the global divestment of Entocort but also strengthens AstraZeneca's focus on three main therapy areas: cardiovascular and metabolic diseases; respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; and oncology.

"We are pleased to be working with Perrigo to ensure patients with Crohn’s disease in the United States continue to benefit from this important medicine,” Miels said.

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease of the digestive tract affecting up to 700,000 people in the United States. While inflammation can occur in any area of the GI tract, it most commonly happens at the end of the small bowel and the start of the colon.

“The addition of Entocort represents a strong strategic fit with our portfolio of prescription medicines," Perrigo President and CEO Joseph Papa said. "It supports our commitment to providing effective, affordable treatments to patients with gastroenterological conditions and we look forward to building on the brand’s success in the U.S. market.”

The agreement is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

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