) global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, has
acquired privately-held biotech company, Spirogen. Spirogen
focuses on developing oncology related technology. As per the
terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca acquired all shares of
Spirogen for an initial consideration of $200 million and
milestone payments of up to $240 million depending on attainment
of predetermined targets.
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AstraZeneca will also make a $20 million equity investment in
Swiss-based oncology drug development company, ADC Therapeutics.
As per the terms of the agreement, the companies will co-develop
two of ADC Therapeutics' candidates in preclinical development.
We remind investors that AstraZeneca acquired privately-held U.S.
based company, Amplimmune, in Oct 2013. The deals are in line
with AstraZeneca's strategy of boosting its pipeline by acquiring
Generic competition has been adversely impacting AstraZeneca's
revenues over the past few quarters. This has put significant
pressure on the company.
In a bid to add late-stage candidates to its pipeline,
AstraZeneca entered into a number of acquisition deals (Pearl
Therapeutics and Omthera Pharmaceuticals) in the last few months
and agreements with companies such as FibroGen, Inc.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca has entered into an agreement with Janssen
Pharmaceutical K.K., a subsidiary of
Johnson & Johnson
), to co-promote abiraterone acetate for prostate cancer in
Japan. The drug is currently under regulatory review in Japan.
AstraZeneca, a large-cap pharma company, presently carries a
Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other large-cap pharma stocks such as
) currently appear more attractive. While Roche carries a Zacks
Rank #1(Strong Buy), Bayer carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).