• 4/29/2006
  • London, UK
  • Tom Neilson
  • Pharmaceutical Business Review Online (www.pharmaceutical-business-review.com)

AstraZeneca is to pay $200 million for rights to co-promote in the US Abraxane, a breast cancer drug developed by Abraxis BioScience. Meanwhile, the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company’s branded anesthetic and analgesic products have been acquired by Abraxis for $350 million.

Abraxane, approved by the FDA in January 2005, achieved sales of $134 million in its first 11 months on the market.

The drug is currently in various stages of development for the treatment of a number of other cancers including first-line metastatic breast and non-small cell lung, adjuvant breast, neo-adjuvant breast, malignant melanoma, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic, gastric, and head and neck cancers.

The anesthetic and analgesic products acquired by Abraxis encompass over 100 dosage forms and include the leading branded anesthetic agent, Diprivan, and a proprietary Naropin, as well as a comprehensive suite of local anesthetics including EMLA (eutectic mixture of lidocaine and prilocaine), Xylocaine, Polocaine, Nesacaine, Sensorcaine, and Astramorph.

“This deal gives AstraZeneca access to the key US chemotherapy market. Abraxane brings significant benefits to cancer patients over existing therapies and complements and extends our oncology product portfolio in the US,” said Tony Zook, president and CEO of AstraZeneca US. “At the same time Abraxis BioScience is acquiring a strong anesthetic and analgesic portfolio which enhances their market leading injectable drug portfolio in the US.”

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