AstraZeneca took a major step to build up its respiratory medicine business yesterday by striking a deal worth up to $2.1 billion for the rights to Spanish group Almirall’s lung drugs.

The British drugmaker, which resisted a $118 billion takeover attempt by Pfizer in May, said it would pay an initial $875 million and up to $1.22 billion more if the drugs meet development and sales targets.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot also struck a clinical trial collaboration with Japan’s Kyowa Hakko Kirin for a study that will evaluate a combination of the two companies’ drugs in cancer – another important field for AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca will have the right to develop and commercialise Almirall’s existing lung drugs – including its recently launched treatment Eklira or aclidinium – as well as its pipeline of experimental therapies.


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