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updated: 11/19/2013 10:05 AM

Horizon Pharma acquires U.S. rights to arthritis drug Vimovo

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DEERFIELD -- Horizon Pharma Inc. said it will acquire from AstraZeneca AB the U.S. rights to the arthritis drug Vimovo in delayed-release tablets.

Under the agreement, Deerfield-based Horizon will make a one-time payment of $35 million to AstraZeneca and will pay a 10 percent royalty on net sales to Pozen, subject to annual minimum royalties of $5 million in 2014 and $7.5 million each year thereafter, provided that the patents owned by Pozen which cover Vimovo remain in effect and no generic forms of Vimovo are on the market.

For the remainder of the fourth quarter of 2013, AstraZeneca will continue to distribute and book revenues for Vimovo and Horizon will receive any related net profits from AstraZeneca.

Vimovo is approved in the U.S. to relieve the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis and to decrease the risk of stomach (gastric) ulcers in patients at risk of developing stomach ulcers from treatment with NSAIDs. AstraZeneca will retain ex-U.S. rights to Vimovo.

"The acquisition of Vimovo is a major step forward in our strategy to leverage our business model and maximize our commercial infrastructure and we expect it to create significant value for our shareholders," said Timothy P. Walbert, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Horizon. "We anticipate that this transaction will significantly increase our revenues and accelerate the Company to profitable operations."

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