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Pharmaceutical specialist joins with US drugs giant in £40 million share deal

PUBLISHED: 12:29 27 April 2017

Steven Harris

Steven Harris

Archant

Oxford pharmaceutical giant Circassia is about to close a deal which will see drugs company AstraZeneca taking a £40 million stake in the business

As part of the deal, which is set to be completed this summer, respiratory disease specialist Circassia could end up paying more than £180 million plus royalties for the rights to drugs developed by the British and Swedish-owned corporation.

They include Tudorza and Duaklir - groundbreaking treatments for chronic lung diseases including emphysema and bronchitis.

AstraZeneca will own around 14% of the company, which is based on Oxford Science Park, and there are ambitious expansion plans for its US arm, including tripling its American salesforce to 200.

Circassia chief executive Steven Harris said the acquisition was the perfect fit.

“It represents a transformational opportunity for the company, doubling the number of marketed products in our portfolio, with the potential to triple the current number within two years,” he said.

“Through an initial commercial collaboration with AstraZeneca, we plan to double our US sales force to promote Tudorza as our priority, as well as our existing products, transforming Circassia into a world-class respiratory business positioned for future in-licensing and mergers and acquisitions.”

Mark Mallon, executive vice-president global product and portfolio strategy at AstraZeneca said it would “sharpen” the company’s focus on Symbicort - a treatment used by thousands of asthma sufferers in the UK.

“Tudorza and Duaklir are important components of AstraZeneca’s respiratory franchise globally and this collaboration will support their commercialisation in the US for the benefit of the millions of COPD patients,” he said.

“We look forward to working closely together.”

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