Astra eyes record merger with drug rival Gilead

LONDON (AFP) – British pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca has approached United States (US) rival Gilead Sciences over a possible record merger, Bloomberg reported, as the pair spearhead treatments for COVID-19.

AstraZeneca informally contacted Gilead last month, last Sunday’s report said, adding that a combined group would be worth a record-breaking USD236 billion when taking into account the companies’ closing valuations on Friday.

That was trimmed yesterday, with AstraZeneca’s share price down 2.14 per cent at the start of London trading.

Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir has been shown to help severely ill coronavirus patients, while AstraZeneca is trialing a COVID-19 vaccine.