AstraZeneca has agreed to sell worldwide (excluding Japan) rights to its migraine drug Zomig® (zolmitriptan) to Germany-based Grünenthal for $200 million upfront and potentially another $102 million in future milestone payments. Zomig is approved for the acute treatment of migraine and in the EU for the acute treatment of cluster headaches. The U.K. drugmaker said Zomig’s therapeutic area is outside of its strategic focus. Revenues of Zomig outside Japan were $96 million in 2016, including product sales and externalization revenues.

U.S. rights to Zomig had previously been licensed to Impax Pharmaceuticals, which will continue to market Zomig in the U.S. AstraZeneca will manufacture and supply the drug to Grünenthal during a transition period.

“The acquisition of the well-established Zomig products complements our existing pain portfolio,” stated Gabriel Baertschi, Grünenthal CEO. “Migraine has been one of the very few main pain indications we haven’t yet been able to offer a solution for. This is an important step to reach our ambition to become a €2 billion [$2.25 billion] company by 2022. It will also support our efforts to bring four to five innovative products to market in the same timeframe.”

Headquartered in Aachen, Grünenthal is an independent, family-owned pharma specializing in pain, gout, and inflammation. The firm reported revenues of €1.4 billion (approximately $1.6 million) in 2016. Last month Grünenthal opened a new Innovation Hub in the Greater Boston area to identify and develop new programs in pain, inflammation, orphan diseases, and devices and technologies in partnership with the region’s institutions, startups, and spinouts. Also in May, the firm reported an agreement with 23andMe to carry out a 20,000-participant study to investigate how genetic factors influence pain and response to pain medications. 

Last month, AstraZeneca sold the European rights to its metoprolol beta blocker brands Seloken®/Seloken® ZOK and metoprolol combination therapy Logimax® to Recordati for $300 million. In February, AstraZeneca agreed to sell U.S. and Canadian commercial rights to its luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist Zoladex® (goserelin acetate implant) to TerSera Therapeutics for $250 million upfront.

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