- AstraZeneca said it had agreed to sell the global commercial rights for its heartburn medication and associated brands to Cheplapharm for up to $276m.

Under the agreement, Cheplapharm would pay AstraZeneca approximately $243m on completion of the agreement, plus sales-contingent milestones of up to $33m in 2021 and 2022.

The sale included medicines containing omeprazole marketed by AstraZeneca or its collaborators under the Acimax, Antra, Mepral, Mopral, Omepral and Zoltum medicine names, the company said. In 2018, Losec sales in the countries covered by this agreement were $98m, the majority of which were in Emerging Markets. The agreement does not change the company's financial guidance for 2019, AstraZeneca said.

‘This agreement forms part of our strategy of reducing the portfolio of mature medicines to enable reinvestment in our main therapy areas, accelerating the number of innovative new medicines for patients with high unmet medical need,’ the company said.

‘We already have an excellent relationship with Cheplapharm, and their strong European presence and global distribution network will help ensure continued patient access to Losec.’

At 8:00am: [LON:AZN] AstraZeneca PLC share price was -45.5p at 7215.5p

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