October 1, 2019 / 7:24 AM / 19 days ago

AstraZeneca sells acid reflux drug rights to Germany's Cheplapharm

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a sign at an AstraZeneca site in Macclesfield, England May 19, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - AstraZeneca Plc said on Tuesday it would sell the global commercial rights for its drug to treat acid reflux to German pharmaceutical company Cheplapharm Arzneimittel GmbH for as much as $276 million.

Cheplapharm will pay AstraZeneca about $243 million for Losec, a proton pump inhibitor developed by the British drugmaker. The sale also includes milestone payments of up to $33 million in 2021 and 2022 contingent on sales.

The global commercial rights being sold to Cheplapharm, for Losec (omeprazole) and its associated brands, excludes rights in China, Japan, the United States and Mexico, AstraZeneca said.

AstraZeneca said it will still make and supply Losec and its associated medicines and sell the medicine in markets where it still holds the rights.

In 2018, Losec sales in the countries covered under this agreement with Cheplapharm were $98 million, the British drugmaker said.

The divestment includes medicines containing omeprazole marketed by AstraZeneca or its collaborators sold under brands such as Acimax, Antra, Mepral, Mopral, Omepral and Zoltum.

Reporting by Muvija M and Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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