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1 December, 2020 - 11:55 By Tony Quested

AstraZeneca could net $350m from medicines sale to German company

Cambridge Big Biotech AstraZeneca has agreed to sell the rights of Crestor (rosuvastatin) and associated medicines in over 30 countries in Europe, except the UK and Spain, to Grünenthal GmbH in Germany for $320 million.

AstraZeneca could receive future milestone payments of up to $30m from the Aachen-based pharmaceutical business.

Crestor is a statin – a lipid-lowering medicine used to treat blood lipid disorders and to prevent cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. 

It produces its lipid modifying effects in two ways: it blocks an enzyme in the liver causing the liver to make less cholesterol, and it increases the uptake and breakdown by the liver of cholesterol already in the blood. Crestor is approved as a lipid regulating medicine in more than 100 countries.

Grünenthal was founded in 1946 as Chemie Grünenthal and has been continuously family-owned. The company was the first to introduce penicillin into the German market in the postwar period after the Allied Control Council lifted its ban.

AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply Crestor to Grünenthal during a transition period. It will also continue selling the medicine in other countries including North America, Japan, China and other emerging markets.

Ruud Dobber, AstraZeneca executive VP with the BioPharmaceuticals Business Unit, said: “This agreement supports the management of our mature medicines to enable reinvestment into the pipeline and bringing new, innovative treatments to patients. 

“Grünenthal previously acquired the rights to several established AstraZeneca medicines and is well placed to ensure continued access to Crestor for patients across Europe.”

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