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Thursday, January 28, 2021

AstraZeneca buying drug developer Alexion for $39 billion

by AP News.

LONDON (AP) — Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca says it is buying U.S. drug developer Alexion in a deal worth $39 billion.

Cambridge, England-based AstraZeneca PLC, which is involved in one of the efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, said Saturday it’s using a combination of cash and shares for the acquisition of Boston-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The boards of both companies unanimously approved the transaction, which still needs regulatory and shareholder approval. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.

“This acquisition allows us to enhance our presence in immunology,” AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said in a statement.

AstraZeneca and Oxford University have jointly developed a coronavirus vaccine that British and Canadian regulators are assessing, alongside a rival effort by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech that has already earned some emergency approvals, and another by U.S. biotechnology company Moderna.

AstraZeneca has a Fort Worth connection. In 2015, AstraZeneca has acquired U.S.-based biopharmaceutical company ZS Pharma in a deal worth $2.7 billion.

ZS Pharma was founded by Dr. Al Guillem and Dr. Jeff Keyser, both formerly with Adams Laboratories in Fort Worth. The company was a TECH Fort Worth client and also received an investment from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

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