Circassia Pharmaceuticals is pulling back from its development and commercialisation agreement with AstraZeneca for US commercial rights to COPD therapies Tudorza (aclidinium) and Duaklir (aclidinium/formoterol).

Termination of the agreement will see AstraZeneca acquire US commercial rights to the drugs alongside certain ancillary rights and assets, and will see Circassia free of its debt to the drugs giant.

“As a Board and Management team, we conducted a strategic review of our business and its prospects, concluding that it would be in the best interests of both patients and our shareholders for us to terminate the development and commercialisation agreement. As we look to move forwards with a primary focus on our Niox respiratory diagnostic platform, we are confident in our ability to drive long-term growth,” said Ian Johnson, Circassia's executive chairman.

“Upon completion, this transaction will transform Circassia into a debt-free business with a strong revenue-generating business, with which we have the potential to expand into new territories and a commercial infrastructure that can in the medium term be further leveraged through broadening its range of products. This fundamental change in the business will place us in a strong position to deliver improved shareholder value.”

The company is also proposing to change its name to Circassia Group plc.