AstraZeneca's proposed acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, (Alexion) has achieved an important step towards completion by having cleared the European Commission (EC) review.
The clearance follows competition clearances in the United States, Japan and other countries globally, with a complete list available on astrazeneca.com. Regulatory clearance in the UK is pending and remains a requirement to complete the deal.
Marc Dunoyer, executive director and chief financial officer, said: “We are pleased to have secured clearance from the European Commission for the proposed acquisition of Alexion, a pioneer in the discovery and development of medicines for rare diseases. We are now another step closer to closing the acquisition and combining the two companies to create a leader in immunology and precision medicines. We continue to progress towards the completion of the acquisition during this quarter.”
The proposed acquisition, first announced in December 2020, would enhance the Company's scientific presence in immunology by adding Alexion's innovative complement-technology platform and an extensive pipeline. Rare diseases represent a high-growth disease area with rapid innovation and significant unmet medical needs. Shareholders of both companies overwhelmingly supported the acquisition by their votes on 11 May 2021.
Subject to completing the acquisition, a group focusing on rare diseases will be created. This group will be named ‘Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease’, and will be headquartered in Boston, US.
Over 7,000 rare diseases are known today, and only approximately 5% have treatments approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Demand in medicines for rare diseases is forecasted to grow by a low double-digit percentage in the future.