Allergan to sell brazikumab to AstraZeneca and Zenpep to Nestle

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Allergan has agreed to sell IL-23 inhibitor brazikumab to AstraZeneca and gastrointestinal medication Zenpep (pancrelipase) to Nestle in separate agreements, as per the latest pharma acquisition news.

Financial details of the two deals have not been disclosed.

The divestments are being taken up in an effort to wrap up the $63 billion AbbVie acquisition of Allergan which was announced in 2019.

Formerly MEDI2070, brazikumab is currently in phase 2b/3 program for the treatment of Crohn’s Disease and in phase 2 program for ulcerative colitis. AstraZeneca will also acquire the global development and commercial rights of the investigational IL-23 inhibitor.

AstraZeneca and Allergan have agreed to scrap their existing license agreement with all rights to brazikumab to return to the left.

The deal is likely to be wrapped in Q1 2020, subject to regulatory approvals pertained to AbbVie acquisition of Allergan and its completion on time.

Allergan to sell brazikumab to AstraZeneca and Zenpep to Nestle

Allergan to sell brazikumab to AstraZeneca and Zenpep to Nestle. Photo courtesy of Allergan.

Mene Pangalos – Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca BioPharmaceuticals R&D, commenting on AstraZeneca acquisition of brazikumab, said: “We’re pleased to bring brazikumab back into the AstraZeneca pipeline. With our expanding presence in immunology, there is an opportunity to address a significant unmet need in inflammatory bowel diseases where the majority of patients are unable to achieve clinical remission with current treatment options.

“This agreement creates an opportunity for us to complete the full development programme and bring this potential new treatment option to patients as quickly as possible.”

Zenpep, on the other hand, is available in the US for the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency caused by cystic fibrosis and other conditions. It is a medication to help people who do not have proper digestion of their food as their pancreas does not produce enough enzymes to break down fat, carbohydrates, and protein.

Under the same transaction, Nestle will be acquiring another pancreatic enzyme preparation called Viokace.

Greg Behar – CEO of Nestle Health Science, commenting on Nestlé acquisition of Zenpep, said: “Nestlé’s acquisition of Zenpep is a strategic decision that will enhance our growing medical nutrition portfolio.

“This is a significant opportunity for our business in the United States to add a complementary product to our existing range of nutrition products that support food ingestion, digestion and absorption.

“We have extensive experience in Zenpep’s therapeutic areas of digestive diseases through our medical nutrition business and will leverage those capabilities as we grow this new business.”

The deal is likely to be wrapped up concurrent with Allergan, AbbVie merger, which is expected to be finalized in Q1 2020, subject to receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

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