LONDON— AstraZeneca PLC mentioned it agreed to purchase Boston-based mostly Alexion Prescribed drugs Inc. for $39 billion in money and inventory, a transfer that will bolster the British drug big’s footprint in uncommon illnesses.
The deal comes at a pivotal time for AstraZeneca, which is in late-stage development of a leading Covid-19 vaccine developed in partnership with the College of Oxford. The vaccine is being reviewed by U.Ok. and European medicines regulators, and could possibly be approved for emergency use within the U.Ok. inside weeks, scientists concerned in it have mentioned.
The firm has launched into probably the most bold efforts to manufacture and distribute the vaccine amongst a handful of Western pharmaceutical giants, assuming it will get the inexperienced mild for its shot. With the Alexion deal, it’s now additionally pursuing one of many greatest drug-trade offers of the yr.
AstraZeneca mentioned Alexion will give it a better scientific presence in immunology, with a uncommon-illness unit based mostly in Boston. Administrators of each corporations have accepted the acquisition, which they count on to shut within the third quarter of 2021.
AstraZeneca has reinvented itself lately as a cancer-drug powerhouse. It had suffered years of shrinking income as blockbusters in its portfolio have been hit by generic competitors when patents expired.