LONDON-At a share price of $58 or about $15.6 billion total, AstraZeneca strengthened its pipe- and bottom lines with an agreement to acquire MedImmune. The pharma giant is expected to leverage the new assets with its subsidiary Cambridge Antibody Technology to further entrench itself in a global biologics market that has seen strong growth but continues to find its way alongside small-molecule based therapeutics development.
"This acquisition represents a transformational step to deliver our biologics strategy sooner than anticipated," says AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan. "MedImmune adds an exciting existing pipeline, including two late-stage products, great expertise in biologic drug development, and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities."
The deal also opens the door for AstraZeneca to the volatile vaccine market. This sector has experienced significant interest in recent months with strong candidates arising in oncology, which is expected to account for more than half of the expected $15 billion market by 2012, according to recent research by Kalorama Information.