AstraZeneca has sold off a whole host of prescription drugs to the Swedish specialty pharmaceutical firm BioPhausia.

The Stockholm-based firm is paying 535 million Swedish kroner, or around $91 million, to get hold of 16 drugs which have combined sales of some 200 million kroner, 84% of which are generated in Sweden. The firm said that the acquisition is expected to be earnings positive in the current year and is predicted to boost pretax earnings by about 100 million kroner, almost double the 52 million kroner reported in 2007.

The portfolio includes the pain treatment Citodon (paracetamol/dihydrocodeine), Mollipect (bromhexine/ephedrine) for coughs and Mucomyst (acetylcysteine) for chronic bronchitis. Together they represent approximately 45% of sales and BioPhausia said Citodon has the largest growth potential.

The company will partly finance the deal through a rights issue of about 300 million kroner. It noted that sales of the portfolio “have been stable despite the lack of marketing activities during the past couple of years''.

In 2006, the Swedish firm bought 17 products from AstraZeneca, with sales amounting to approximately 90 million kroner. BioPhausia added that it had “good experiences from this acquisition and see interesting opportunities to, in a similar way, integrate the new portfolio into current operations”.

The firm added that the costs for integrating the drugs into its current organisation are low.