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20 April, 2021 - 22:41 By Tony Quested

AstraZeneca gets US clearance for $39bn acquisition of Alexion

AstraZeneca's proposed $39 billion acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc has achieved an important step toward completion, having cleared US Federal Trade Commission review.

This follows the conclusion of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

The announcement follows competition clearances in Canada, Brazil, Russia and other countries globally, with a full list available on astrazeneca.com. Additional global regulatory clearances are pending, including but not limited to the UK, EU and Japan.

Marc Dunoyer, executive director and chief financial officer, said: “These clearances further advance us towards closing our acquisition of Alexion. We remain focused on the next chapter for AstraZeneca and Alexion, building on our combined expertise in immunology and precision medicines and our shared ambition to bring more innovative medicines to patients worldwide. 

“We look forward to working closely with other global authorities as we progress toward this goal.”

The proposed acquisition, first announced in December 2020, would enhance the company's scientific presence in immunology by adding Alexion's innovative complement-technology platforms and strong pipeline. 

Rare diseases represent a high-growth disease area with rapid innovation and significant unmet medical need. The acquisition remains expected to close in Q3 2021, subject to receipt of additional global regulatory clearances and approval by shareholders of both companies with shareholder voting anticipated on May 11.

Subject to a successful completion of the acquisition, a dedicated business unit will be created, known as 'Alexion, The AstraZeneca Rare Disease Unit', headquartered in Boston, US. 

AstraZeneca will have an enhanced global footprint and broad coverage across primary, speciality and highly specialised care, and is expected to deliver double-digit revenue growth through 2025, double-digit core EPS accretion for the first three years as well as strong cash flow with an ambition to increase the dividend.

Over 7,000 rare diseases are known today, and only some five per cent have US Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments. Demand in the global rare disease space is forecast to grow by a low double-digit percentage in the future.

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