Pfizer has quickly followed its US$14 billion takeover of Medivation by agreeing to acquire AstraZeneca's small molecule antibiotics business in a deal that could be worth in excess of US$1.5 billion.
The agreement includes the commercialisation and development rights to ZAVICEFTA (ceftazidime-avibactam), as well as in-line products MERREM (meropenem) and ZINFORO (ceftaroline fosamil), and the clinical development assets aztreonam-avibactam and CXL.
Pfizer said the assets are primarily outside the US - ZINFORO and MERREM are both registered in Australia.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will make an upfront payment of US$550 million to AstraZeneca upon the close of the transaction and a deferred payment of US$175 million in January 2019. In addition, AstraZeneca is eligible to receive up to US$250 million in milestone payments, up to US$600 million in sales-related payments, as well as tiered royalties on sales of ZAVICEFTA and ATM-AVI in certain markets.
“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,” said John Young, group president, Pfizer Essential Health.
"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."