AstraZeneca buying drug developer Alexion for USD39B

LONDON (AP) — Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said it is buying United States (US) drug developer Alexion in a deal worth USD39 billion.

Cambridge, England-based AstraZeneca PLC, which is involved in one of the efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, said on Saturday it is using a combination of cash and shares for the acquisition of Boston-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The boards of both companies unanimously approved the transaction, which still needs regulatory and shareholder approval. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.

“This acquisition allows us to enhance our presence in immunology,” AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said in a statement.

AstraZeneca and Oxford University jointly developed a coronavirus vaccine that British and Canadian regulators are assessing, alongside a rival effort by US drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech that has already earned some emergency approvals, and another by US biotechnology company Moderna.

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is acquiring Boston-based drug developer Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc in a deal worth USD39 billion. PHOTO: AP