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Announcement:

Moody's: Daiichi Sankyo's collaboration with AstraZeneca is positive for the former's oncology franchise

03 Apr 2019

Tokyo, April 03, 2019 -- Moody's Investors Service says that Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited's (A2 stable) announced collaboration with AstraZeneca PLC (A3 stable) on Daiichi Sankyo's trastuzumab deruxtecan (DS-8201) breast cancer drug is beneficial to the growth of the Japanese company's oncology franchise.

On 29 March, Daiichi Sankyo announced the collaboration with AstraZeneca on the global development and commercialization of DS-8201, the most promising drug in Daiichi Sankyo's pipeline.

"This collaboration will establish Daiichi Sankyo's oncology franchise, its most strategic growth area; accelerate its sales growth prospects; and provide funds to allocate to R&D for other oncology drugs," says Yukiko Asanuma, a Moody's Analyst.

Daiichi Sankyo will receive from AstraZeneca up to $6.90 billion, including a total upfront payment of $1.35 billion for the two fiscal years ending 31 March 2020 and 31 March 2021, and up to an additional $5.55 billion, contingent upon the achievement of future regulatory and sales milestones, as well as other contingencies.

Daiichi Sankyo and AstraZeneca will share equally costs and profits worldwide, with Daiichi Sankyo maintaining exclusive sales rights in Japan. AstraZeneca's expertise and resources in oncology and its broader global presence will help Daiichi Sankyo to increase sales of DS-8201 in the US and Europe and to launch the drug in emerging markets, as well as the development of new indications and combinations.

Daiichi Sankyo shifted its focus to oncology from cardiovascular and metabolism in 2016, but its oncology-related sales will only total JPY16 billion (less than 2% of total sales of JPY910 billion) in fiscal 2018. This collaboration will mean it could meet or even exceed its sales targets for oncology drugs announced last October of JPY40 billion in fiscal 2020, JPY150 billion in fiscal 2022 (about 14% of targeted total sales of JPY1.1 trillion for fiscal 2022), and JPY500 billion in fiscal 2025.

DS-8201 has been granted Breakthrough Therapy and Fast Track designations for HER2 positive breast cancer by the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Sakigake Designation by the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for HER2 positive advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer.

Moody's believes the larger revenue potential of DS-8201 lies in the demand prospects from patients who have HER2 low expressing tumors where the unmet need is higher. In addition to breast cancer, DS-8201 is undergoing clinical studies in a number of other settings, including lung, colorectal and gastric cancer.

On 2 April, Moody's changed AstraZeneca's ratings outlook to stable from negative following the announcement that AstraZeneca will issue $3.5 billion of equity to fund the upfront payment to Daiichi Sankyo for this collaboration. AstraZeneca will also spend $1 billion of the proceeds to reimburse debt. The stable outlook also reflects Moody's expectation that AstraZeneca will deleverage through strong organic growth. Moody's does not expect DS-8201 to make a meaningful contribution to AstraZeneca's EBITDA and cash flow before 2022.

Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited, headquartered in Tokyo, is a leading pharmaceutical company in Japan.

AstraZeneca PLC, headquartered in the UK, is a leading global pharmaceutical company.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Yukiko Asanuma
Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Japan K.K.
Atago Green Hills Mori Tower 20fl
2-5-1 Atago, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-6220
Japan
JOURNALISTS: 81 3 5408 4110
Client Service: 81 3 5408 4100

Mihoko Manabe
Associate Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 81 3 5408 4110
Client Service: 81 3 5408 4100

Releasing Office:
Moody's Japan K.K.
Atago Green Hills Mori Tower 20fl
2-5-1 Atago, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-6220
Japan
JOURNALISTS: 81 3 5408 4110
Client Service: 81 3 5408 4100

No Related Data.
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