Luye Pharma inks $538 million licensing deal for Seroquel

Hong Kong-based Luye Pharma (SEHK: 2186) has negotiated rights to atypical anti-psychotic medicines Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) 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.

The transaction is part of Anglo-Swedish pharma major AstraZeneca’s (LSE: AZN) strategy to focus on its three main therapy areas of Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism and Respiratory, said Mark Mallon, executive vice president, global product and portfolio strategy at AstraZeneca.

Seroquel, used primarily to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disease, has lost its compound patent protection globally; the Seroquel XR formulation patents have now also expired in the vast majority of markets. AstraZeneca partnered the rights to Seroquel and Seroquel XR in Japan and Venezuela under prior agreements.

Financial considerations

Luye Pharma will pay $538 million in consideration including $260 million immediately following closure of the transaction. In addition, a milestone is payable on the successful transition of certain activities to Luye. AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply Seroquel and Seroquel XR to Luye Pharma during a transition period. The upfront and future payments will be reported as Other Operating Income in AstraZeneca’s financial statements.

Dr Yehong Zhang, head of Luye Pharma (International) 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. It is an affirmation of our commitment to accelerate our international presence. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with existing and future partners and making this a success for us and for patients in need.”…

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