AstraZeneca Completes $39-Bn Acquisition of Alexion

AstraZeneca has completed its $39-billion acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, a Boston-based bio/pharmaceutical company focused on rare diseases. The companies had announced the deal in December 2020.

The acquisition marks AstraZeneca’s entry into rare diseases. With the closing of the deal, AstraZeneca has formed a dedicated rare-disease group, Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease, which is headquartered in Boston.

The acquisition gives AstraZeneca a further scientific presence in immunology and Alexion’s complement-biology platform and pipeline focused on rare diseases.

Alexion is focused on complement inhibition for immune-mediated rare diseases that are caused by uncontrolled activation of the complement system, part of the immune system. The complement system plays an important role in many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases across multiple therapy areas, including hematology, nephrology, neurology, metabolic disorders, cardiology, ophthalmology and acute care.

Alexion posted 2020 net product sales of $6.07 billion. Its top-selling product is Soliris (eculizumab), which is approved to treat two rare blood disorders: (1) paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a disease that is characterized by destruction of red blood cells, blood clots, and impaired bone marrow function and (2) atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a disease that causes abnormal blood clots to form in small blood vessels in the kidney. The drug posted 2020 revenues of $4.06 billion and accounted for 69% of the company’s 2020 net product sales.

Soliris faces near-term biosimilar competition, and its successor product, Ultomiris (ravulizumab), which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2018 to treat PNH and in 2020 for aHUS, posted 2020 net sales of $1.08 billion and was Alexion’s second largest selling product in 2020.

The total consideration paid to the Alexion shareholders was approximately $13.3 billion in cash and 236,321,411 in new AstraZeneca shares (approximately 94% of which will be represented by new AstraZeneca American Depositary Shares).

Source: AstraZeneca

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