AstraZeneca, still in asset-sale mode, hands off most global rights for constipation med Movantik

British drugmaker AstraZeneca has spent much of the past few years in asset-sale mode, offloading of a range of its specialty products in return for extra cash to plow into areas such as oncology. Now, AstraZeneca has agreed to divest the rights to one of its GI meds in a move the acquirer is calling a "transformative event" for its business. 

AstraZeneca has pawned off most of its global rights for GI med Movantik to Tel Aviv- and North Carolina-based RedHill Biopharma in a deal valued at $67.5 million, the drugmaker said Tuesday.

As part of the sublicense deal, which doesn't include rights in Europe, Canada or Israel, AstraZeneca will receive $52.5 million in cash upfront with an additional $15 million due in 2021. RedHill will acquire U.S. rights to the drug through a co-commercial deal AstraZeneca signed with Daiichi Sankyo in 2015. 

AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply Movantik during a "transition period" to RedHill, the company said. Movantik, an oral, once-daily treatment for opioid-induced constipation, posted $96 million in sales in 2019, AstraZeneca said. 

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