Pfizer to Acquire Small Molecule Anti-Infectives from AstraZeneca

Pfizer plans to acquire AstraZeneca’s anti-infective drugs.

With plans to acquire yet another small business, Pfizer may have learned something from the large insurance mergers that made headlines recently.

After announcing plans to acquire Medivation on Monday, Pfizer now plans to acquire a small molecule anti-infective business from competitor AstraZeneca.

With the agreement, they will now own the development and commercialization rights to AstraZeneca’s late-stage small molecule anti-infectives business, according to a press release from Pfizer.

“This agreement reinforces our strategic focus to invest in our three main therapy areas where we can make the greatest difference to patients’ lives,” said Luke Miels, executive vice president for Europe and head of the Antibiotics Business Unit at AstraZeneca. “We’re pleased that our strong science in antibiotics will continue to serve a critical public health need through Pfizer’s dedicated focus on infectious diseases, ensuring these important medicines reach greater numbers of patients around the world.”

Pfizer will now have the rights to the drug ceftazidime-avibactam (Zavicefta), which just gained approval in the European Union. This drug is able to fight multi-drug resistant Gram-negative infections, including infections that are antibiotic resistant.

They will also have rights to already marketed drugs, such as meropenem (Merrem/Meronem) and ceftaroline fosamil (Zinforo). Clinical development assets include aztreonam-avibactam (ATM-AVI) and CXL, according to the press release.

AstraZeneca will receive $550 million up front, and another $175 million in 2019. They will also receive up to $250 in milestone payments, $600 million in sales-related payments, and royalties on sales of ceftazidime-avibactam and ATM-AVI, Pfizer reported.

“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.”