AstraZeneca to buy developer of COPD drug

LONDON — Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca will pay up to $1.15 billion for a U.S. developer of drugs for respiratory diseases, AstraZeneca said Monday.

The company announced that it would buy Redwood City, Calif.-based Pearl Therapeutics, which has an inhaled drug for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, called PT003 (formoterol fumarate; glycopyrrolate), in late-stage clinical development.

Under the deal, AstraZeneca will buy 100% of shares in Pearl, including a $560 million initial payment, up to $450 million in development-related milestone payments and $140 million in payments related to potential product sales. The deal is expected to close in the summer.

"Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease continues to increase worldwide, and there is a growing need for the next generation of inhaled combination products," AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said. "Pearl's novel formulation technology, together with its development products and specialist expertise, is a great complement to AstraZeneca's long-established capabilities in respiratory disease, one of our core therapy areas."