AstraZeneca said today it has sold outside-the-U.S. rights to its portfolio of seven anesthetics to Aspen Global Inc. (AGI) for up to $770 million-plus.

The deal covers Diprivan (general anesthesia), EMLA (topical anesthetic), and five local anesthetics—Carbocaine, Citanest, Marcaine, Naropin, and Xylocaine/Xylocard/Xyloproct—and is the latest agreement through which AstraZeneca has shed assets in areas outside its core therapeutic areas.

AstraZeneca’s anesthetics portfolio is marketed in more than 100 countries worldwide, including key markets such as China, Japan, Australia, and Brazil. U.S. rights to the products were sold in 2006 for $334 million to Abraxis BioScience, now part of Fresenius Kabi.

The anesthetics portfolio generated global product sales of $592 million last year.

AGI, part of the Aspen Group, agreed to pay AstraZeneca $520 million upfront, an up-to-$250 million payment related to product sales, and double-digit percentage trademark royalties on product sales.

AstraZeneca also agreed to manufacture and supply the anesthetics on a cost-plus basis to AGI for an initial 10-year period. Upon completion of that period, Aspen has agreed to assume responsibility for all activities relating to the sale of the portfolio in all markets covered by the deal.

The transaction with AGI is set to close in the third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions. AstraZeneca said the deal would not affect its financial guidance for 2016. The pharma giant has told investors it anticipates “low- to mid- single-digit percentage” declines in both total revenue and core earnings per share.

“AstraZeneca has a rich heritage in anesthetic medicines, and this agreement will extend the reach of our established portfolio to a greater number of patients through AGI’s extensive commercial network,”AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said in a statement. “This agreement supports our strategic focus on the new medicines in three main therapy areas.”

AstraZeneca’s therapeutic areas are cardiovascular and metabolic disease, oncology, and respiratory, inflammation, and autoimmunity diseases.

Earlier this year, the pharma giant inked an up-to-$265 million-plus licensing deal with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals for U.S. rights to the soon-to-launch gout-associated hyperuricemia treatment Zurampic® (lesinurad) to Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, and an up-to-$230 million-plus agreement with Grünenthal for European and Latin American rights to the drug.

Also this year, AstraZeneca sold Chinese rights to the hypertension treatment Plendil (felodipine) and ex-U.S. rights to angina pectoris drug Imdur (isosorbide mononitrate) for a combined $500 million. AstraZeneca also sold rights to its opioid-induced constipation treatment Moventig (naloxegol) in the EU and four European nations to a subsidiary of Kyowa Hakko Kirin for a sum that included $70 million upfront.








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