Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Grunenthal acquires market rights for Nexium, Vimovo

30 October 2018 | News

Biggest single investment in Grünenthal's history that will significantly strengthen the company's leading position in pain management

Grunenthal has agreed to acquire AstraZeneca's European rights to Nexium and the global (ex US and Japan) rights to Vimovo for a total consideration of up to US$ 922 m (€ 811 m). Nexium (esomeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that helps to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach in patients with gastroesophageal reflux conditions and ulcers. It has a number of indications, including the prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers induced by pain-relieving non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Vimovo is a fixed-dose combination tablet of naproxen, a pain-relieving non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and esomeprazole, the same gastroprotective active ingredient as in Nexium. It is indicated for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis in patients at risk of developing NSAID-associated gastric and/or duodenal ulcers.

"This acquisition is the biggest single investment in Grünenthal's history and an important step in pursuing our vision of creating a world free of pain for patients," explained Grunenthal CEO Gabriel Baertschi.

Under the terms of the agreement, Grunenthal will acquire the exclusive rights to market Nexium for the approved indications in 33 European countries. Nexium continues to generate significant revenues despite having lost exclusivity. Total prescription Nexium 2017 sales for in-scope markets were US$ 248 m (€ 220 m). Grunenthal will obtain Vimovo global commercialization rights with the exception of the US and Japan. Vimovo is available in over 30 countries and is patent protected in most European markets until 2025. Vimovo achieved revenues of US$ 79 m (€ 70 m) in in-scope markets in 2017.

With this acquisition, Grunenthal is expected to double its EBITDA performance. Moreover, Grunenthal will significantly enhance its business across multiple pain-related therapeutic categories and geographies. The transaction is subject to approval from the relevant antitrust authorities, with closing expected in December 2018.

The financing for Grunenthal has been secured by the underwriting banks BBVA, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank and ING.

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