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AstraZeneca to sell Arimidex, Casodex rights in parts of Europe, Africa

AstraZeneca PLC is selling rights to its breast cancer medicine Arimidex and prostate cancer drug Casodex in parts of Europe, Africa and certain other countries to Laboratoires Juvise Pharmaceuticals SAS for $181 million up front.

As part of the deal, the French healthcare distributor will also make sales-related milestone payments of up to $17 million to AstraZeneca.

Under the agreement, privately held Villeurbanne, France-based Juvise Pharmaceuticals will gain rights to Arimidex and Casodex in certain European countries, including Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

The deal also covers African countries like Cameroon, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Togo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"Today's agreement is part of a broader strategy of reducing our portfolio of mature medicines to reallocate resources towards developing our pipeline of new medicines," Dave Fredrickson, executive vice president of AstraZeneca's oncology business unit, said in a Dec. 20 press release.

The Cambridge, U.K.-based drugmaker sold rights to Arimidex and Casodex in the U.S. in 2017. The therapies generated about $37 million and $24 million, respectively, in sales in the countries covered under the agreement in 2018, the company said.