AstraZeneca announces another M&A with Amplimmune

August 27
10:52 AM 2013

After spending almost USD1 billion earlier this year to acquire Omthera and Pearl Therapeutics, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot has been looking at another acquisition deal. In an effort to rebuild the beleaguered pharmaceutical company, Soriot made a USD500 million bid for an early-stage company in the oncology immunotherapy market.

On Monday, AstraZeneca announced that the company had reached an agreement to acquire Amplimmune, a privately-held biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapeutics through immune system modulation. AstraZeneca will be paying USD225 million up front. Another USD275 million would be tied to predetermined milestones.

AstraZeneca had underappreciated assets in the oncology immunotherapy space, including a collection of checkpoint agents. The current deal would add to the company's early-stage portfolio of assets.

AstraZeneca had over USD8 billion in cash in the balance sheet, despite the company being in a net debt position as of the last quarter. The company's acquisition of Amplimmune would not represent any significant change in the company's liquidity.

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