World Markets

AstraZeneca could pay Daiichi Sankyo up to $6.9 bln in cancer drug deal


By Sam Nussey

TOKYO, March 29 () - AstraZeneca Plc and Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd signed a deal to develop and sell Daiichi's cancer drug trastuzumab deruxtecan that could see the British drugmaker pay as much as $6.9 billion to its Japanese partner.

The news sent Daiichi's shares soaring 16 percent, its daily limit, to a record in morning Tokyo trading on Friday. Daiichi's shares have climbed 45 percent this year as investor expectations for the drug rise.

Daiichi is the latest Japanese drugmaker to strike such a deal to gain access to a bigger overseas player's R&D and sales clout.

The deal is also a big bet on Japanese research by AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot, who is seeing results in his efforts to replenish the drugmaker's pipeline as its cancer drug sales grow.

The two drugmakers have a long-standing relationship which includes a 2015 agreement to jointly commercialise constipation drug Movantik in the United States.

Trastuzumab deruxtecan "could become a transformative new medicine for the treatment of HER2 positive breast and gastric cancers," Soriot said in a statement.

The drug also has the potential to treat lung and colorectal cancers. AstraZeneca plans to use some of the proceeds of a $3.5 billion share issue to fund the deal.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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