AstraZeneca buys 55 per cent stake in Acerta for $4 billion

Deal gives drugmaker a late-stage medicine to treat patients for a range of blood cancers

AstraZeneca agreed to buy a 55 per cent stake in Acerta Pharma for $4 billion to gain a potential blockbuster cancer medicine.

AstraZeneca agreed to buy a 55 per cent stake in Acerta Pharma for $4 billion to gain a potential blockbuster cancer medicine.

 

AstraZeneca agreed to buy a 55 per cent stake in Acerta Pharma for $4 billion to gain a potential blockbuster cancer medicine.

The UK’s second-largest drugmaker will pay $2.5 billion upfront, and another $1.5 billion when Acerta’s experimental drug acalabrutinib is approved by a regulator or at the end of 2018, whichever comes first, according to a statement Thursday.

The agreement also includes options through which London-based AstraZeneca can buy the rest of closely held Acerta for about $3 billion.

The deal gives chief executive officer Pascal Soriot yet another promising new medicine as he seeks to bolster investors’ confidence after having turned down a takeover bid from Pfizer last year.

Acerta’s acalabrutinib, a rival of Johnson and Johnson and AbbVie’s Imbruvica, may garner peak annual sales of more than $5 billion, according to AstraZeneca.

Shares of AstraZeneca rose 1.3 per cent to 4,473 pence as of 9.54am in London trading.

The Acerta deal gives AstraZeneca a late-stage medicine to treat patients across a range of blood cancers.

The drug shows promise against an incurable form of leukemia as well as diseases in which the body attacks itself, such as lupus.

Annual revenue from that drug will reach $4.07 billion by 2020, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg