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$1 Billion Deal Between AstraZeneca's Rare Disease Division And Pfizer Gene Treatments

$1 Billion Deal Between AstraZeneca's Rare Disease Division And Pfizer Gene Treatments
As the British pharmaceutical company wagers on novel genetic therapies, AstraZeneca announced on Friday that its Alexion division has reached an agreement to acquire Pfizer's early-stage rare disease gene therapy portfolio for up to $1 billion, plus royalties on sales.
The British business also announced that Mene Pangalos, a long-time biopharmaceuticals head of research at AstraZeneca, would be replaced by Sharon Barr, head of research and development at Alexion.
Pangalos served as the company's spokesperson for its COVID vaccination.
In 2021, AstraZeneca acquired Alexion for $39 billion. It concentrates on rare diseases and expects to finalise the Pfizer agreement in the third quarter.
The agreement will expand Alexion's and AstraZeneca's capabilities in genomic medicine and provide a number of innovative adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids to the company.
According to the business, therapeutic gene cargos for gene therapy and gene editing have been successfully delivered by AAV capsids.
In October of last year, AstraZeneca also acquired American gene therapy startup LogicBio Therapeutics for $68 million, representing a staggering 660% premium.
AstraZeneca, Merck & Co., and AbbVie, among other pharmaceutical companies, declared their openness to acquisitions in April. Deals are now more appealing due to a decline in the valuation of smaller U.S. biotech companies from epidemic highs.
In order to improve its supply of heart and kidney medications, AstraZeneca also agreed to purchase CinCor Pharma, a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company, for up to $1.8 billion in January.
Separately, AstraZeneca reported better-than-anticipated profitability and sales for the second quarter on Friday, offsetting a decline in COVID vaccination sales with the success of its blockbuster cancer medications.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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