AstraZeneca annuls diabetes drug deal with Abbott Healthcare

AstraZeneca India, which entered into a licensing deal with Sun Pharma for a key diabetes drug, said that it had terminated a distribution agreement for the same drug with Abbott Healthcare.

The drug, dapagliflozin, was being supplied to Abbott Healthcare by the Indian unit of the British-Swedish company under a distribution agreement, which has now been terminated, it said.

“Under the said agreement, Abbott promoted and distributed Dapagliflozin under the brand name “Gledepa” and the combination of Dapagliflozin with Metformin under the brand name “Gledepa Met”.

“Please note that by virtue of the said Distribution Agreement, Abbott had not been conferred with any license to the patents over the drugs comprising Dapagliflozin, and the license granted to Abbott was with respect only to the use of the trademarks “Gledepa” and “Gledepa Met”

“We now wish to further update that AstraZeneca India and Abbott have mutually terminated the Distribution Agreement on 27th May 2021,” the Indian unit of the MNC said.

The move follows a deal between AstraZeneca AB, the Sweden-based parent of the Indian unit, and Sun Pharma, India’s largest pharmaceuticals maker, to give Sun Pharma the right to manufacture the drug locally under a licensing agreement.

In a separate statement, Sun Pharma said today that it has taken “a patent license to manufacture and commercialize Dapagliflozin and Dapagliflozin with Metformin combination in India from AstraZeneca AB with effect from 28th May”.

Sun Pharma also got the rights to the brand name under which it was selling the medicines in India.

Before the latest agreement, the drug was being manufactured by AstraZeneca at its factories abroad, shipped into India and supplied to Abbott and Sun Pharma for marketing and distribution.

India is the world’s diabetes capital, with hundreds of millions suffering from the chronic condition.