AstraZeneca has completed the divestment of the rights to its heart failure and hypertension brand Atacand (candesartan cilexetil) in Europe to Cheplapharm Arzneimittel GmbH.

Cheplapharm, headquartered in Germany, gains the commercial rights to Atacand and Atacand Plus (fixed-dose combination of candesartan cilexetil and hydrochlorothiazide) in over 70 countries.

Initially, AZ and Cheplapharm agreed on the rights to the Atcand brand in 28 countries for $200m in 2018, but expanded this agreement last year to attain the rights in further locations for a total consideration of $400m.

“This agreement forms part of our strategy of streamlining our portfolio of mature medicines to enable reinvestment in our main therapy areas and bringing new medicines to patients,” said Mark Mallon, executive vice president, Global Product & Portfolio Strategy.

In 2019, Atacand and Atacand Plus generated product sales of $148 and profit before tax of $89m in the countries covered by the agreement.

Atacand was originally developed in collaboration with Japanese pharma company Takeda, with each company holding the exclusive rights to the medicine in certain countries.

The medication is a selective AT1 subtype angiotensin II receptor antagonist, indicated for the management of hypertension in adults and children/adolescents, as well as heart failure in adults.

Atacand Plus is approved for the management of hypertension when candesartan or hydrochlorothiazide monotherapy is not effective enough.