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AstraZeneca buying drug developer in £30bn deal

The Cambridge-based pharmaceutical giant is currently developing a coronavirus vaccine with the University of Oxford.

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AstraZeneca said it is acquiring Boston-based drug developer Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

AstraZeneca said it is acquiring Boston-based drug developer Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

AstraZeneca said it is acquiring Boston-based drug developer Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is to buy US drug developer Alexion in a deal worth almost £30 billion.

Cambridge-based AstraZeneca, which is developing a Covid-19 vaccine, said on Saturday it is using a combination of cash and shares for the acquisition of Boston-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction, but it still needs regulatory and shareholder approval.

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AstraZeneca is currently developing a coronavirus vaccine with Oxford University (John Cairns/University of Oxford/PA)

AstraZeneca is currently developing a coronavirus vaccine with Oxford University (John Cairns/University of Oxford/PA)

PA

AstraZeneca is currently developing a coronavirus vaccine with Oxford University (John Cairns/University of Oxford/PA)

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.

AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot said: “This acquisition allows us to enhance our presence in immunology.”

The company and Oxford University have jointly developed a coronavirus vaccine that British and Canadian regulators are assessing.

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