AstraZeneca has sold off certain rights to its antipsychotics Seroquel and Seroquel XR in certain territories - including the UK – to Luye Pharma.

The drug giant said the move follows its strategy of focusing on its three main therapy areas of oncology, cardiovascular, renal & metabolism, and respiratory.

Seroquel, which is primarily used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disease, has lost its patent protection globally, while those for Seroquel XR have also expired in most markets.

In 2017, Seroquel generated annual sales of $85 million in the markets covered by the agreement – including the UK, China, Brazil, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Argentina, Malaysia and South Africa - while Seroquel XR pulled in $63 million.

Mark Mallon, executive vice president, global product and portfolio strategy at AZ, said the move would “ensure continued widespread patient access to important established medicines.”

The terms of the deal state that Luye Pharma will pay $538 million, including $260 million immediately following closure of the transaction, to AZ. In addition, an undisclosed milestone will be triggered by successful transition of certain activities to Luye.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances, the firms noted.