AstraZeneca has signed an agreement to transfer global rights for respiratory drugs Eklira and Duaklir to Switzerland-based Covis Pharma Group in a deal valued at $270m.

The two medicines Eklira (aclidinium bromide), called Tudorza in the US, and Duaklir (aclidinium bromide/formoterol) are delivered via a breath-actuated multi-dose dry powder inhaler, Genuair.

Eklira is a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA), which is marketed in some nations as Bretaris. Duaklir is a combination therapy that includes both a LAMA and a long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA). The drug is marketed in some countries as Brimica.

They are used to treat patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Last year, Eklira and Duaklir generated revenue of $143m for the UK-based firm in the geographies covered by the earlier agreement.

AstraZeneca said that the latest deal will ensure continued patient access to these drugs.

In 2018, Covis Pharma bought the rights to the respiratory drugs Alvesco, Omnaris and Zetonna from AstraZeneca.

The Swiss firm will also cover some ongoing development costs related to the medicines.

AstraZeneca said that the income from the upfront payment will be fully offset by a charge for derecognition of the associated intangible asset and therefore no other operating income will be recognised in its financial statements.

The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is anticipated to complete in the fourth quarter of 2021.