Aralez Pharmaceuticals said today it has completed its acquisition of U.S. rights from AstraZeneca to the branded and authorized generic versions of the beta-blocker Toprol-XL® (metoprolol succinate), a deal that could generate up to $223 million-plus for the buyer.

As part of the deal, Aralez said, AstraZeneca agreed to continue manufacturing and supplying Toprol-XL and the authorized generic version to Aralez subsidiary Aralez Pharmaceuticals Trading DAC (Aralez Ireland) for at least 10 years.

AstraZeneca also agreed to continue distributing the product on behalf of Aralez Ireland until the product is transferred, which Aralez said could be up to 9 months following the closing under a transitional services agreement.

Toprol-XL is indicated for control of hypertension, angina, and heart failure. It was first approved in the U.S. in 1992, and last year generated $89 million in combined U.S. product sales for the branded drug  and AstraZeneca’s share from its sale of the authorized generic version.

Aralez paid $175 million upfront at closing and has agreed to pay AstraZeneca an additional up to $48 million in payments tied to achieving sales and other milestones. Aralez also agreed to pay mid-teen percentage royalties on sales.

Aralez financed the transaction through a previously committed senior secured debt facility with Deerfield Management. Upon closing of the deal with AstraZeneca, Aralez added, it borrowed funds from the facility to replenish $25 million previously paid from cash on hand in connection with a recently completed acquisition from Merck & Co. of U.S. and Canadian rights to the cardiovascular drug Zontivity ® (vorapaxar).

Deerfield has also agreed to provide Aralez access to up to an additional $250 million in capital to fund future mutually agreeable acquisitions, Aralez said.

“The strong cash flow from the transaction is expected to accelerate our profitability to 2017 on an adjusted basis, while also offsetting launch costs for both Yosprala™ and Zontivity,” Aralez CEO Adrian Adams said in a statement.

Yosprala (aspirin and omeprazole) was launched earlier this month and is indicated for patients who require aspirin for secondary prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events and who are at risk of developing aspirin-associated gastric ulcers.








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