AstraZeneca has agreed to acquire US-based biopharmaceutical company Alexion Pharmaceuticals in a deal valued at $39bn.
Under the deal, Alexion shareholders will secure $60 in cash and 2.1243 new AstraZeneca American depositary shares (ADSs) listed on the Nasdaq exchange for each of their Alexion shares.
Alexion is engaged in the discovery, development and commercialisation of advanced therapies for people living with rare disorders. Alexion’s expertise in complement biology is expected to boost AstraZeneca’s presence in immunology.
Alexion CEO Dr Ludwig Hantson said: “For nearly 30 years Alexion has worked to develop and deliver transformative medicines to patients around the world with rare and devastating diseases.
“I am incredibly proud of what our organisation has accomplished and am grateful to our employees for their contributions. This transaction marks the start of an exciting new chapter for Alexion.”
Alexion’s Soliris (eculizumab), a first-in-class anti-complement component 5 (C5) monoclonal antibody, was approved in multiple countries to treat patients with paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH).
PNH is an atypical haemolytic uremic syndrome, generalised myasthenia gravis and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.
Alexion also introduced Ultomiris (ravulizumab), a second-generation C5 monoclonal antibody with a more convenient dosing regimen.
The company is also involved in the development of several mid-to-late-stage therapies, including a copper-binding agent for Wilson disease, neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) antibody for rare IgG-mediated diseases and an oral Factor D inhibitor, as well as several early-stage therapies, including one for light chain amyloidosis, second oral Factor D inhibitor and third complement inhibitor.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said: “Alexion has established itself as a leader in complement biology, bringing life-changing benefits to patients with rare diseases. This acquisition allows us to enhance our presence in immunology.”
Subject to receipt of regulatory clearances and approval by shareholders of both companies, the deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021.
Bank of America Securities is acting as financial advisor to Alexion, while Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as legal counsel.
Recently, Cheplapharm Arzneimittel agreed to acquire commercial rights of heart failure and hypertension drugs from AstraZeneca in a deal valued at around $400m.