AstraZeneca boosts respiratory unit with $575 million Takeda deal

A sign is seen at an AstraZeneca site in Macclesfield, central England May 19, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's AstraZeneca AZN.L has agreed to buy Takeda Pharmaceutical's 4502.T respiratory business, including expanded rights to roflumilast, a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

AstraZeneca, which has marketed roflumilast in the United States under the name Daliresp since the first quarter of 2015, said it would pay $575 million to the Japanese company.

“Full acquisition of the global rights will support AstraZeneca’s respiratory franchise and complement the company’s portfolio of treatments for severe COPD,” AstraZeneca said.

Roflumilast, known as Daxas outside the US, is the only oral PDE4 inhibitor, a type of drug that has anti-inflammatory effects, approved for the treatment of COPD.

AstraZeneca acquired the US rights for the drug from Actavis earlier this year as part of a deal that bolstered its respiratory business, one of the company’s three main areas of focus.

Annual global sales of the three core medicines acquired -- Alvesco, Omnaris and Daxas -- were $198 million for the period ending in March 2015, AstraZeneca said.

Earlier on Wednesday, AstraZeneca said it would spend $800 million to expand its presence in China over the next 10 years.

Rothschild acted for Takeda on the deal.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Keith Weir