) worldwide biologics research and development (R&D) unit,
MedImmune recently acquired AlphaCore Pharma, a biotechnology
company based in Michigan. Financial terms of the deal were not
disclosed by the companies.
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We note that the acquisition of AlphaCore Pharma adds ACP-501 (a
recombinant human lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase/ LCAT
enzyme) to AstraZeneca's pipeline. The candidate is being
developed for acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and other high-risk
atherosclerosis conditions for the rapid removal of tissue
We believe that AstraZeneca's acquisition of AlphaCore Pharma is
aimed at combating the generic threat hanging over many of its
key drugs. Moreover, AstraZeneca is looking towards cost-cutting
initiatives to drive the bottom line to overcome the threat of
Last month AstraZeneca initiated a major overhaul of its R&D
and selling, general and administrative (SG&A) segments. As
per the proposed plans, the company's R&D activities will be
primarily centered in three facilities including UK (Cambridge),
US (Gaithersburg) and Sweden (Mölndal). The proposed initiative
will result in relocation and termination of approximately 2,500
and 1,600 roles, respectively, in the 2013-2016 timeframe and
cost approximately $1.4 billion. The SG&A segment will also
be optimized with the help of restructuring activities, which
will result in the termination of approximately 2,300 employees.
AstraZeneca, a large cap pharma company, carries a Zacks Rank #3
(Hold). However, other large cap pharma stocks such as
) currently look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Other pharma stocks that look attractive include
Osiris Therapeutics, Inc.
). Both are Zacks Rank #1 stocks.