AstraZeneca closes its mega $39 billion takeover of Alexion

Deal closed week after jumping final regulatory hurdle, expanding the British giant’s rare disease portfolio.

Earlier today, AstraZeneca announced it had completed the acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, gaining access to an impressive, rare diseases portfolio that has raked in sales of about $5 billion in 2019. This comes a week after the pharma giant secured a green light from the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority, it’s final regulatory hurdle. The mega deal announced late last year was one of industry’s largest in 2020, and saw AstraZeneca fork out $39 billion in a cash-and-stock deal to extend its presence in immunology and to add to its ambitious revenue target. The transaction also came with a whopping 45% premium on Alexion’s closing price days before it was announced, sealing the acquisition of one of the industry’s most sought-after biotech companies.

The conclusion of the deal is an essential stepping stone in pursuit of AstraZeneca’s ambitious goal to reach $40 billion in sales by 2023– a massive jump from the $26 billion made last year. The deal itself is expected to immediately add $6 billion to AstraZeneca’s top line, thanks sales generated by Soliris and Ultomiris - two of Alexion’s blockbuster therapies. The two drugs are the focus of a major patient switching programme from Soliris to successor drug Ultomiris, as the former drug nears patent challenges over the coming years. According to Alexion's annual report, Soliris which got its green light for generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) back in 2017, generated over $4 billion in sales last year. The transaction will also see Alexion become the British drug giant’s rare disease unit.