AstraZeneca's 'Clear-Out' Strategy Sees Gout Drug Go To Grunenthal
AstraZeneca is licensing its unlaunched gout drug Zurampic (lesinurad) out to privately held Grunenthal for sale in Europe and Latin America in the UK pure pharma's latest divesture of non-core assets amid efforts to focus on its central activities while also unlocking value from medicines in its portfolio.
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Due to poor sales, the drug, which AstraZeneca picked up through its $1.26bn acquisition of Ardea, is now being terminated in the US. Ironwood, already in the process of splitting up, is going to focus on its core gastrointestinal franchise.
Biopharma financing decreased by 16% in Q2 to $4.8 billion, while the total value of acquisitions nearly doubled to $22 billion, including AbbVie's $9.8 billion takeover of Stemcentrx. Alliances garnered an aggregate potential deal value of $23.1 billion, led by Allergan's CNS agreement with Heptares.
AstraZeneca's first-half results presentation highlighted its growing early pipeline, notably in oncology, but also the increasing pain of generic erosion on its Crestor sales – underlining again the importance new drugs will play in the group's turnaround strategy.