AstraZeneca will sell the remaining rights to its anaesthetic medicines portfolio to Aspen Pharmacare in a deal worth up to $766 million. Last year, the company sold rights to its global anaesthetics portfolio outside the US to Aspen under a $770-million agreement.

AZ's anaesthics portofiolio consists of Diprivan, EMLA, Xylocaine/Xylocard/Xyloproct, Marcaine, Naropin, Carbocaine and Citanest. Under the terms of the new agreement, Aspen will now acquire the remaining rights to the intellectual property and manufacturing know-how related to the anaesthetic medicines for an upfront consideration of $555 million. Additionally, Aspen will pay AstraZeneca up to $211 million in performance-related milestones based on sales and gross margin during the period from 1 September 2017 to 30 November 2019. AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply the medicines to Aspen during a transition period of up to five years.

Mark Mallon, Executive Vice President, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy, AstraZeneca said: “AstraZeneca, Aspen and patients have all benefitted from the successful commercial agreement we established last year. As our relationship has evolved, Aspen has shown that it is in a strong position to maximise the value and reach of the anaesthetic medicines through its extensive commercial network. Disposing the remaining rights to the medicines allows both companies to benefit from greater efficiencies as AstraZeneca continues to focus our resources on our three main therapy areas.”

Stephen Saad, Group Chief Executive, Aspen, said: “This second transaction allows us to reap the additional benefits from the excellent strategic acquisition that the anaesthetics portfolio has proven to be for Aspen and a key part of this will be to continue leveraging the strong working relationship that we have developed with AstraZeneca.”