SOURCE: Biovitrum

December 21, 2009 13:29 ET

Biovitrum Sells Obesity Program to AstraZeneca

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN--(Marketwire - December 21, 2009) - Biovitrum AB (publ) (STO: BVT) today announced that AstraZeneca (STO: AZN) has acquired all of Biovitrum's rights to its leptin modulator program aimed at treating obesity.

Biovitrum will receive from AstraZeneca an upfront payment of Euro 6M and milestone payments contingent on development progress and sales, as well as single digit percentage royalties. If a product is approved, the agreement allows up to a total of Euro 186M in upfront and milestone payments to Biovitrum. The leptin modulator program is currently in the preclinical phase.

Björn Wallmark, Vice President, Cardiovascular & Gastrointestinal Research at AstraZeneca, said: "AstraZeneca is committed to working towards finding new solutions to health problems that stem from diabetes and obesity, two risk factors for cardiovascular disease. We are pleased that we have obtained this discovery program. It increases the strength of our portfolio of compounds that can potentially lead to medicines that meet the needs of patients."

Peter Edman, CSO of Biovitrum, said: "We are very happy that this exciting and completely novel approach to treat obese patients will continue to be developed through AstraZeneca, a company with a long heritage and strong presence in the cardiovascular disease area. We are sure that AstraZeneca will continue to develop the opportunity in a capable way and potentially add new treatment options for obese patients."

About Obesity

Obesity is widely agreed to be one of largest and most rapidly growing health problems in adults today, amounting to a global epidemic. The World Health Organization projected that, in 2005, 1.6 billion adults (aged 15+) worldwide were overweight, of whom an estimated 400 million were obese. By 2015 it is expected that 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese(1). In the US, almost two thirds of the population are overweight (67%), and nearly one third (34%) are clinically obese(2). Even being only moderately overweight increases the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease(3). Although many options are available to help people lose weight, most have proven to be relatively ineffective in the long-term.

1. World Health Organisation. Health Topics: Obesity and Overweight fact sheet number 311, September 2006.

2. Health, United States 2008: with special feature on the health of young adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

3. Burton BT, Foster WR. Health implications of obesity: an NIH Consensus Development Conference. J Am Diet Assoc 1985;85:1117-21

About Biovitrum

Biovitrum is an international pharmaceutical company that markets specialist pharmaceuticals in several regions. Using its expertise and experience Biovitrum takes scientific innovation to patients with significant unmet medical need. Research expertise and capabilities are focused on development and production of biotechnology therapeutics within our prioritized areas of hemophilia, inflammation/autoimmune diseases, cancer supportive care and malabsorption. The company has revenues of approximately SEK 1.2 billion and around 400 employees. The company head office is located in Sweden and it is listed on the Stockholm OMX Nordic Exchange. For more information please visit

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of US$ 31.6 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit:

Biovitrum AB (publ) may be required to disclose the information provided herein pursuant to the Swedish Securities Markets Act. The information was provided for public release on December 21, 2009 at 5.00 p.m. CET.

Contact Information

  • For more information please contact:

    Biovitrum AB (publ)
    Erik Kinnman
    EVP Investor Relations
    Phone: +46 73 422 15 40

    Peter Edman
    Phone: +46 8 697 21 77