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Circassia Pharmaceuticals exercises US option over lung disease drug

Circassia said the deal represented an important opportunity both commercially and strategically
Tudorza will be part of a product line focused on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Circassia Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:CIR) is exercising an option to acquire the US commercial rights for lung disease treatment Tudorza, giving it full ownership.

This will trigger a US$5mln payment to drug giant AstraZeneca, which developed the inhaled product. This payment is over and above of the deferred element of an earlier transaction that originally brought Tudorza into the Circassia portfolio.

READ: Growing opportunities in respiratory space could accelerate Circassia’s path to profitability, says analyst

The company’s chief executive, Steve Harris, said the drug would be the launchpad for a product line focused on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, supported by a dedicated sales force. It will sit alongside Duaklir and NIOX.

Circassia said the option exercise and licence transfer represented an important opportunity both commercially and strategically.

“We will have significantly more control of the product's commercialisation strategy, and with prescription levels continuing to stabilise, we now have a robust foundation from which to grow the product,” said CEO Harris. 

“We plan to build on our learnings of the past 18 months and are launching a dedicated COPD sales force alongside a focused NIOX team, which we believe will improve promotion of our existing products and provide a platform for the launch of Duaklir, once approved. 

“With both the Tudorza option exercise and Duaklir regulatory review process anticipated to complete in the coming months, we look forward to 2019 with significant optimism."

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