British-Swedish pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca is set to acquire Alexion Pharmaceuticals in a deal that has been valued at $39 billion. Executives of the two pharmaceuticals released a joint statement on Saturday to announce the deal. According to the announcement, the deal will be finalized during the third quarter of 2021. Alexion will own 15% of the shares of the new company, Barrons reports.
The deal is one of the largest mergers in the pharmaceutical industry in 2020 and will see AstraZeneca pay $39 billion, equivalent to $175 per share. The Cambridge-based company acquiring Alexion partnered with scientists from the University of Oxford to develop a COVID-19 vaccine which is currently awaiting approval from regulators in the United Kingdom.
According to AstraZeneca, the vaccine will cost less than a cup of coffee.
AstraZeneca stated during Saturday’s announcement that Alexion’s competence in Complement Biology will help spur AstraZeneca’s growth in immunology. According to AstraZeneca, Alexion’s Boston office will be the new company’s headquarters for rare diseases.
“Alexion is well known for its cutting edge research into the field of complement biology, and its work has been of great benefits to patients suffering from rare diseases,” Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca stated. “We have decided to acquire Alexion to further spur our growth in immunology. We look forward to finalizing the deal and welcoming our new co-workers from Alexion, so that, together, we can lead innovations in the field of immunology that will provide helpful medicines for patients.”
There have been similar mergers in the pharmaceutical industry this year. In May, AbbVie acquired Allergen, makers of Botox for $63 billion. AstraZeneca had also previously agreed to acquire Dogma Therapeutics in September for one of its products, an inhibitor that reduces cholesterol in the body, WSJ writes.
Two of Alexion’s most popular products, Soliris and Ultomiris, brought in $4.3 billion out of the company’s total sales of $5 billion in 2019. Both of the drugs are used in treating rare diseases. The company also acquired four other drug companies. The latest of these deals was finalized in July when Alexion acquired Portola Pharmaceuticals for $1.4 billion.
The deal made the price of Alexion’s shares drop by 5.4%. Things have however improved for Alexion with its shares going for $120.98 on Friday after hitting $82.36 in March.
“This is a new and exciting beginning for Alexion,” Ludwig Hantson, CEO of Alexion stated. “Our addition to AstraZeneca is a powerful history in the development of leading innovations in the field of rare diseases. We also bring a workforce of skilled experts and potent production capacities in the field.”