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AstraZeneca gets US clearance for proposed Alexion acquisition

AstraZeneca gets US clearance for proposed Alexion acquisition

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has granted clearance to AstraZeneca for its proposed acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals for approximately $39bn or $175 a share.

The latest development comes after completing clearances in Canada, Brazil, Russia and other countries worldwide with other regulatory clearances incomplete in countries including the UK, EU and Japan.

AstraZeneca executive director and chief financial officer Marc Dunoyer 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.”

Last December, AstraZeneca announced the proposed acquisition of Alexion to boost its scientific presence in immunology by adding the latter’s advanced complement-technology platforms and robust pipeline.

On concluding the acquisition, anticipated in the third quarter of this year, a specialised business unit, known as ‘Alexion, The AstraZeneca Rare Disease Unit’, will be set up in Boston, US.

On another note, Amgen has completed the acquisition of clinical-stage biotechnology company Five Prime Therapeutics (FPRX) for $38 for each share in cash.

Amgen will pay a total consideration of $1.9bn to conclude the tender offer and the subsequent merger.

The company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Franklin Acquisition will be merged with and into Five Prime on concluding the deal.

Amgen chairman and CEO Robert Bradway said: “Five Prime fits squarely within Amgen’s leading oncology portfolio and includes bemarituzumab, a Phase III trial-ready, first-in-class programme for gastric cancer, the third leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide.

“Working with the dedicated professionals joining us from Five Prime, we plan to quickly move bemarituzumab into a Phase III study, bringing it one step closer to helping patients suffering from gastric cancer.”

Last month, the company signed a merger agreement to acquire Five Prime.

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