CNBC: Global pharma giant AstraZeneca strikes $6.9 billion deal to expand cancer portfolio

By March 29, 2019News

Another day, another deal in the health care space.

AstraZeneca has agreed to a $6.9 billion collaboration with Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo to bolster its oncology franchise. Rather than a full acquisition, it’s agreed to pay for the shared rights for a new cancer drug called DS-8201.

AstraZeneca plans to raise up to $3.5 billion through a share placing to fund the transaction as well as pay down debt. Analysts generally see the deal as a logical strategic move but note the equity raise may disappoint some investors.

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines. Oncology is one of their key strategic focus areas.

This transaction is intended to build specifically on their heritage in breast cancer as well as expand their treatment offering for other mutant tumors.

This is the first big strategic deal since Jose Baselga joined the company in January as the executive vice president for oncology research and development. Prior to joining the U.K.-based pharma giant, Baselga served as physician-in-chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center which became the leader in early-stage clinical trials for cancer therapies and diagnostic genetic sequencing. So this partnership sits firmly in his wheelhouse.

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot confirmed the company sees very strong synergy potential and financial rationale for this transaction during a conference call with investors.

Click here to read more via CNBC

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