RHEINFELDEN, Switzerland, July 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

Tillotts Pharma AG (“Tillotts”), part of the Zeria Group, announced today that it has entered into an agreement for the acquisition of the global rights for Entocort® (budesonide) from AstraZeneca, excluding the U.S., which will remain with AstraZeneca.

Entocort is a locally-acting glucocorticosteroid, currently approved in more than 40 countries for the treatment of Crohn’s disease (CD) and, in some markets, ulcerative colitis (UC). CD and UC are types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, affecting over 2.2 million people in Europe (five million worldwide). CD and UC are chronic, debilitating diseases that may lead to life-threatening complications. Symptoms vary, but often include abdominal pain and diarrhea.

“Entocort perfectly complements our Asacol® portfolio marketed in 50 countries worldwide through our own European Affiliates, our Japanese mother company Zeria Pharmaceutical, and our trusted network of marketing partners,” said Thomas A. Tóth von Kiskér, CEO at Tillotts. “This agreement underscores our commitment to continue to position Tillotts as a leading European specialist in the field of gastroenterology, offering patients a wide range of treatments for the GI tract.”

Mr Sachiaki Ibe, Chairman and CEO of Zeria Pharmaceutical commented, “We are excited to obtain a well-established brand, such as Entocort, and to expand its commercial reach to Japan and other countries. With this move, we confirm our expansion strategy of organic growth combined with merger and acquisition activities, while delivering increased value to our shareholders.”

“Adding Entocort to our portfolio will greatly enhance Tillotts’ ability to compete in Europe and globally for further licensing deals and acquisitions,” added Dirk Reckert, Chief Business Development Officer at Tillotts.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tillotts will make an upfront payment to AstraZeneca of $215 million upon completion of the transaction to acquire the rights to sell and develop Entocort capsules and enema formulations outside the U.S. The transaction does not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca employees or facilities.

Luke Miels, Executive Vice President, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy and Corporate Affairs, AstraZeneca, said: “Our agreement with Tillotts reinforces our strategic focus on selected therapy areas and puts this important medicine in the hands of a company with specialist expertise in gastroenterology, which will benefit patients.”

With the acquisition of Entocort Tillotts will be reaffirming its commitment to patients by providing treatments for a wide range of disorders of the GI tract, while delivering value to shareholders by expanding and diversifying the company’s portfolio. Under the agreement, Tillotts will acquire all rights related to manufacturing, marketing, sales and trademarks of Entocort. Tillotts will take over the global supply and distribution in markets (ex-U.S.) where the product is currently available.

Entocort is available in two formulations: capsules and enema.

About Entocort®  

Entocort® capsules (3 mg) are a first-line locally acting glucocorticosteroid therapy indicated for the induction of remission of mild to moderate active Crohn’s disease involving the ileum and/or the ascending colon and maintenance of remission. Entocort® Enema (0.02 mg/ml) is indicated for the induction and maintenance of clinical remission of distal ulcerative colitis in the rectum, sigmoid and descending colon.

About Tillotts   

Tillotts Pharma AG, part of the Zeria Group, is a fast-growing specialty pharma company with over 200 employees in Switzerland and abroad. Tillotts is dedicated to the development, in/out-licensing and commercialization of innovative pharmaceutical products, medical devices and diagnostics, all in the field of gastroenterology. We invite you to visit our website http://www.tillotts.com.

Tillotts successfully markets its own products Asacol® and Colpermin®, as well as VistaPrep® andin-licensed products, such as Simtomax®, in over 55 countries through its own affiliates within Europe and a carefully chosen network of gastroenterology-focused marketing partners throughout the world.

About AstraZeneca  

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: http://www.astrazeneca.com

About Zeria  

Zeria Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., founded in 1955, based in Tokyo, Japan, focuses on R&D, manufacturing and sales of prescription drugs as well as OTC products. The company is listed on the First Section of Tokyo Stock Exchange (Stock code: 4559). Zeria holds a leading position within the gastroenterology field in Japan and operates internationally through a number of subsidiaries. For more information about Zeria please visit http://www.zeria.co.jp

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law. Tillotts’ trademarks include Asacol®, Octasa®, Fivasa®, Lixacol®, Asacolon®, Colpermin®, VistaPrep®  and are either registered or applied for in up to 70 countries. Asacol® is a registered trademark held or licensed by Actavis in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Asacol® is a registered trademark in Italy by Giuliani and in Switzerland by Sanofi. Colpermin® is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Simtomax® is a registered trademark of Augurix SA in Switzerland. Upon the closing of the transaction, Entocort®, Entocir®, Entocord®, Budecol® and Zentacort® will be trademarks of Tillotts Pharma in all countries except the U.S., where Entocort® is a registered trademark of AstraZeneca.  

For more information, contact:
Tillotts Pharma AG
Federica Ricatto, Senior Communications Manager
Phone: +41-61-935-2749
Email: [email protected]

Source: PR Newswire Health