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AstraZeneca’s $39bn acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals clears European Commission review



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AstraZeneca’s proposed $39billion acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals has cleared its European Commission review.

It follows competition clearances in the United States, Japan and a number of other countries around the world, but regulatory clearance in the UK is pending.

An aerial view of AstraZeneca's global R&D Centre, being completed on Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Picture: AstraZeneca (47964638)
An aerial view of AstraZeneca's global R&D Centre, being completed on Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Picture: AstraZeneca (47964638)

The Cambridge-headquartered company requires this to complete the deal for the rare disease specialist.

Marc Dunoyer, executive director and chief financial officer, who will become Alexion CEO if the deal proceeds, said: “We are pleased to have secured clearance from the European Commission for the proposed acquisition of Alexion, a pioneer in the discovery and development of medicines for rare diseases.

“We are now another step closer to closing the acquisition and combining the two companies to create a leader in immunology and precision medicines. We continue to progress towards the completion of the acquisition during this quarter.”

Marc Dunoyer, CFO of AstraZeneca, who is due to become CEO of Alexio if its acquisition by AstraZeneca is completed. Picture: AstraZeneca
Marc Dunoyer, CFO of AstraZeneca, who is due to become CEO of Alexio if its acquisition by AstraZeneca is completed. Picture: AstraZeneca

The acquisition was announced in December 2020 and is seen by AstraZeneca as a powerful move to enhancing its presence in immunology by adding Alexion's complement-technology platform and extensive pipeline.

Should the deal proceed, AstraZeneca plans to create a group focusing on rare diseases called ‘Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease’, headquartered in Boston, in the United States.

Shareholders of both companies supported the acquisition when they voted on May 11, 2021.

Rare diseases represent an area of significant unmet medical need, but also innovation. More than 7,000 rare diseases are known today, but only about five per cent have treatments approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

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Why AstraZeneca is acquiring rare disease specialist Alexion for $39bn

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