AstraZeneca to buy Alexion Pharmaceuticals
AstraZeneca will buy Alexion Pharmaceuticals for $39 billion to expand into rare disease treatments.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jenny Strasburg and Joseph Walker reported:
AstraZeneca AZN 0.71% PLC said it agreed to buy Boston-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. ALXN 1.78% for $39 billion in cash and stock, a move that would bolster the British drug giant’s footprint in rare diseases.
The deal comes at a pivotal time for AstraZeneca, which is in late-stage development of a leading Covid-19 vaccine developed in partnership with the University of Oxford. The vaccine is being reviewed by U.K. and European drug regulators, and could be authorized for emergency use in the U.K. within weeks, scientists involved in it have said.
CNN’s Shannon Liao wrote:
Both companies put out a press release Saturday stating their boards of directors unanimously approved the deal. The acquisition is still pending government regulations and shareholder approval. It’s expected to close mid-2021, according to the press release.
In a statement, Alexion told CNN Business that by combining its expertise in rare diseases with AstraZeneca’s comprehensive global reach and broad portfolio, “we will substantially expand our impact to the patients we can serve around the world.”
Luisa Beltran from Barron’s noted:
The deal comes months after AbbVie (ABBV) closed its $63 billion purchase of Allergen, the maker of Botox, in May. AstraZeneca has been active in 2020, agreeing in September to buy Dogma Therapeutics for its preclinical oral PCSK9 inhibitor, which lowers cholesterol.
Alexion is known for its development of rare disease drugs Ultomiris and Soliris, which together accounted for $4.3 billion of Alexion’s $5 billion in product sales in 2019.