AstraZeneca sells Europe and Latin America rights for its zurampic drug to Gruenenthal for upto $230m
Grunenthal will pay tiered, low double-digit royalties on annual product sales to AstraZenecaReuters

AstraZeneca has sold exclusive rights of its new gout drug, zurampic, to Gruenenthal, a pharmaceutical company, based in Aachen, Germany. The rights are for the geographies of Europe and Latin America, the British drug maker added.

As per the deal, which is valued at up to $230m (£159.26m, €205.32m), Grunenthal will have exclusive rights to the drug in Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and 28 European Union member states such as Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus and the UK. The rights will also hold good for all Latin American countries such as the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Mexico.

The deal follows AstraZeneca's recent statement that it would focus on cancer treatments.

Zurampic, in combination with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor, is indicated for the treatment of hyperuricemia, an excess of uric acid in the blood, in adult patients with uncontrolled gout. The drug received approvals from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in February 2016.

Apart from these rights, Grunenthal will also receive exclusive rights for a fixed dose combination of zurampic and allopurinol in these regions. This combination is currently in the clinical trials stage, AstraZeneca said.

"Under the terms of the agreement, Grünenthal will submit the fixed-dose combination programme for regulatory review and will pay AstraZeneca up to $230 million in sales and other related milestones over the lifetime of the contract. Grünenthal will also pay tiered, low double-digit royalties on annual product sales," AstraZeneca said in a press release.

With regards to manufacturing the drug, the British company said: "AstraZeneca will initially manufacture and supply Zurampic to Grünenthal and will undertake the European post-approval commitment on Grünenthal's behalf. From 1 October 2021, Grünenthal has the option to take over manufacturing of Zurampic."

Luke Miels, EVP, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy at AstraZeneca, said: "Grünenthal has an established presence across European and Latin American markets and extensive expertise in inflammatory diseases. This agreement allows us to further focus our resources on our strategic priorities."

Dr Eric-Paul Pâques, CEO at Grunenthal, said: "We are highly committed to the research, development and commercialisation of innovative therapies that bring true benefits to patients. Zurampic is a strong addition to our existing portfolio of innovative therapies in the areas of inflammatory diseases and chronic pain. We will thus use our capabilities to provide patients in our markets with this innovative new medicine to better control their condition."