AstraZeneca Gets EU OK for Proposed $39-Bn Acquisition of Alexion
The European Commission (EC) has approved AstraZeneca’s proposed $39-billion acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, a Boston-based bio/pharmaceutical company focused on rare diseases.
The clearance follows competition clearances in the US, Japan, and other countries globally. Regulatory clearance in the UK is pending and remains a requirement to complete the deal. Shareholders of both companies approved the acquisition in May (May 2021).
The proposed acquisition, first announced in December 2020, would position AstraZeneca in immunology and the development of medicines for immune-mediated 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, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a disease that is characterized by destruction of red blood cells, blood clots, and impaired bone marrow function, and 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.
Subject to completing the acquisition, a group focusing on rare diseases will be created in AstraZeneca. This group will be named “Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease” and will be headquartered in Boston.