Coronavirus vaccine maker AstraZeneca has been explicitly approved by the UK competition watchdog to pursue a $ 39 billion (£ 28.2 billion) megadeal to acquire US pharmaceutical company Alexion Pharmaceuticals.
The Competitive Markets Authority (CMA) said it had decided not to refer to the acquisition for further investigation, paving the way for the deal to close on 21 July.
The CMA said in May that it was investigating whether Cambridge-based AstraZeneca’s acquisition of Alexion could adversely affect UK competition.
AstraZeneca has agreed to purchase Boston-based Alexion for $ 175 (£ 123) per share to enhance its immunology and rare disease expertise.
Cash and equity trading was approved by shareholders in May and was already approved in 10 countries, including the US Federal Trade Commission, prior to the CMA’s decision.
Mark Dunoyer, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of AstraZeneca, said:
“We look forward to closing the deal shortly to pursue the common ambition of providing more innovative medicines to patients around the world and launching the next chapter of growth for AstraZeneca. I will. “
After the deal is completed, AstraZeneca will create a group focused on rare diseases called Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Diseases, headquartered in Boston, USA.
This is a milestone for AstraZeneca, who developed the COVID-19 Jab in collaboration with Oxford University, diversifying the group and adding it to the fast-growing cancer treatment business.
The group said the Rare Diseases sector represents “a high-growth opportunity with rapid innovation and significant unmet medical needs.”
According to AstraZeneca, more than 7,000 rare diseases are known today, and only about 5 percent have treatments approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
In the future, demand for orphan drugs is expected to grow in the low double digits.