(Reuters) – AstraZeneca said on Tuesday it would sell rights to its cholesterol drug, Crestor, to German pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH for an upfront payment of $320 million.
AstraZeneca, which is among the front-runners in the race to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, has been trying to focus on its cancer drug portfolio as it streamlines its business.
The deal will give Grünenthal rights to sell Crestor and associated medicines in more than 30 countries in Europe, except the UK and Spain, AstraZeneca said.
AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply the drug to Grünenthal during a transition period and will continue to sell it in other regions, including North America and China, it said.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, AstraZeneca said, adding that Grünenthal could make milestone payments of up to $30 million.
The British drugmaker said that the divestment will not affect its financial guidance for 2020.