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AstraZeneca: AstraZeneca agrees strategic transaction with Almirall in respiratory disease

Business combination will provide boost to revenue as well as creating
long-term value, strengthening AstraZeneca's respiratory franchise
with a complementary pipeline and inhaled device capabilities in
asthma and COPD

AstraZeneca today announced that it has entered an agreement to
transfer to the company the rights to Almirall's respiratory
franchise for an initial consideration of $875 million on completion,
and up to $1.22 billion in development, launch, and sales-related
milestones. AstraZeneca has also agreed to make various sales-related

Upon completion of the transaction, AstraZeneca will own the rights
for the development and commercialisation of Almirall's existing
proprietary respiratory business, including rights to revenues from
Almirall's existing partnerships, as well as its pipeline of
investigational novel therapies. The franchise includes Eklira®
(aclidinium); LAS40464, the combination of aclidinium with formoterol
which has been filed for registration in the EU and is being
developed in the US; LAS100977 (abediterol), a once-daily long-acting
beta2-agonist (LABA) in Phase II; an M3 antagonist beta2-agonist
(MABA) platform in pre-clinical development (LAS191351, LAS194871)
and Phase I (LAS190792); and multiple pre-clinical programmes. Under
the agreement, Almirall Sofotec, an Almirall subsidiary focused on
the development of innovative proprietary devices, will also transfer
to AstraZeneca.

The business combination will give AstraZeneca immediate access to
on-market revenues, contributing to the company's return to growth.
The company expects the transaction to be neutral to Core EPS in 2015
and accretive from 2016. AstraZeneca intends to finance the
transaction from existing cash resources and short-term credit
facilities. Based on the anticipated timing of completion, the
transaction will have no impact on AstraZeneca's guidance for 2014.

Almirall's pipeline of novel respiratory assets and its device
capabilities further strengthen AstraZeneca's respiratory portfolio,
which includes Symbicort® and Pulmicort®, as well as the company's
investigational medicines in development. The addition of aclidinium
and the combination of aclidinium with formoterol, both in
proprietary Genuair® device, will allow AstraZeneca to offer patients
a choice between dry powder inhaler and metered dose inhaler devices
across a range of molecules and combinations.

AstraZeneca and Almirall anticipate that, subject to local
consultation and legislation, a significant number of employees
dedicated to the respiratory business, including Almirall Sofotec
employees, will transfer to AstraZeneca.

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca said: "Our
agreement with Almirall brings strategic and long-term value to
AstraZeneca's strong respiratory franchise, one of our key growth
platforms. We will benefit from immediate and growing product
revenues which we anticipate will be rapidly accretive to earnings.
Chronic respiratory disease affects hundreds of millions of people
around the world. By combining our innovative portfolios and
leveraging AstraZeneca's global scientific and commercial
capabilities, we will strengthen our ability to address the entire
spectrum of care in asthma and COPD. I very much look forward to
welcoming the Almirall people to our company."

Jorge Gallardo, President of Almirall said: "This important agreement
allows us to better develop our assets and expertise in respiratory
with AstraZeneca, an experienced player in this therapeutic area. It
also allows us to better balance the costs, risks and returns of the
respiratory business while retaining an important economic interest
in its future success. All this constitutes a very solid baseline to
move more aggressively in specialty areas and particularly towards
becoming a global dermatology player. R&D will remain a key part of
Almirall's business going forward and hopefully a significant
long-term growth driver."

The transaction is subject to certain competition law clearances as
well as other customary terms and conditions. The companies
anticipate the transaction will complete by the end of 2014.

An overview presentation about the transaction will be available at:

- ENDS -


About COPD

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a progressive disease
associated mainly with tobacco smoking, air pollution or occupational
exposure, which can cause obstruction of airflow in the lungs
resulting in debilitating bouts of breathlessness. It affects an
estimated 210 million people worldwide and is predicted to be the
third leading cause of death by 2020. Although COPD is widely
regarded as a disease of the elderly, 50 per cent of patients are
estimated to be between 50 and 65 years of age, meaning half of the
COPD population is likely to be affected at a stage in their life
when they are at the peak of their earning potential and are likely
to have major family responsibilities.

About Asthma

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways in which the
bronchi are reversibly narrowed. It affects people of all ages and is
a significant source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Asthma can
be allergic (induced by an immune response to inhaled allergens such
as pollen, fungal spores or dust mite particles) or non-allergic
(induced by exercise, cough, viral respiratory infection, or
inhalation of smoke or chemicals in the workplace). The airway
narrowing characteristic of asthma is a response of the immune system
to the asthma trigger.

Severe persistent asthma is classified by the frequency of symptoms
throughout the day and night, use of reliever inhalers, interference
with daily activities, peak flow readings and whether asthma
exacerbations require use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) more than
twice a year. Asthma treatment usually includes ICS that reduce
inflammation of the airways to prevent asthma symptoms and
exacerbations, combined with long-acting β2-agonist bronchodilators
and a short-acting β2-agonist or other bronchodilator for relief.

About Almirall

Almirall is a global company based in Barcelona dedicated to providing
valuable medicines through its R&D, agreements and alliances. Our
work covers the whole of the drug value chain. A consolidated
profitable growth allows us to devote our talent and efforts in the
respiratory and dermatology areas, with a focused interest in
gastroenterology and pain. Our size enables us to be agile and
flexible so that we can accomplish the purpose of taking our
innovative products wherever they are needed.

Founded in 1943, Almirall is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange
(ticker: ALM) and it has become a source of value creation for
society due to its vision and the commitment of its long-standing
major shareholders. In 2013, its revenues totalled €825 million and,
with more than 3,000 employees, it has gradually built up a trusted
presence across Europe, as well as in the US, Canada and Mexico. For
more information please visit

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business
that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation 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:


Media Enquiries

Esra Erkal-Paler +44 20 7604 8030 (UK/Global)

Vanessa Rhodes +44 20 7604 8037 (UK/Global)

Ayesha Bharmal +44 20 7604 8034 (UK/Global)

Jacob Lund +46 8 553 260 20 (Sweden)

Michele Meixell + 1 302 885 2677 (US)

Investor Enquiries

Karl Hård +44 20 7604 8123  mob: +44 7789 654364

Colleen Proctor + 1 302 886 1842 mob: +1 302 357 4882

Anthony Brown +44 20 7604 8067 mob: +44 7585 404943

Jens Lindberg +44 20 7604 8414 mob: +44 7557 319729

Eugenia Litz +44 207 604 8233 mob: +44 788 473 5627


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