AZ divest rights to Rhinocort Aqua outside US

AstraZeneca has entered into an agreement with Cilag GmbH International, an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson, for the divestment of the rights to Rhinocort Aqua outside the US.

Rhinocort Aqua is a nasal spray indicated for allergic and non-allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the inside of the nose), and for the treatment of nasal polyps (swelling of the nasal lining). The active ingredient is the anti-inflammatory medicine budesonide. Executive vice-president, global product & portfolio strategy Mark Mallon said: "This agreement allows us to concentrate our efforts in Respiratory as one of our three strategic therapy areas, on transforming the treatment of asthma and COPD, where budesonide remains a key component of our marketed as well as pipeline medicines."

The agreement is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2016.

As AstraZeneca will not maintain a significant ongoing interest in Rhinocort Aqua, the $330 million payment received from Cilag GmbH International upon completion of the transaction will be recognised as Other Operating Income in the Company's financial statements.

The transaction does not include the transfer of any AstraZeneca employees or facilities and does not impact the Company's financial guidance for 2016.