AstraZeneca to purchase US cancer company for up to US$500 million
ReutersLONDON -- AstraZeneca PLC took a further step to bolster its pipeline of new cancer drugs on Monday by agreeing to acquire privately held U.S. biotech company Amplimmune for up to US$500 million.
August 27, 2013, 12:40 am TWN
The deal is the second within 24 hours in the cancer drug space, following Amgen Inc.'s much larger acquisition of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. for about US$10.4 billion.
Amplimmune specializes in developing treatments designed to help the immune system fight cancer and the purchase will give AstraZeneca access to a number of compounds currently in pre-clinical development.
While it will not yield commercially viable new medicines for several years, the move fits with the British drugmaker's strategy of building up its capability in oncology -- a key area identified for investment by CEO Pascal Soriot.
AstraZeneca's MedImmune biotech unit will acquire 100 percent of Amplimmune's shares for an initial US$225 million and a deferred consideration of up to US$275 million based on reaching predetermined development milestones.