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AstraZeneca Buys US Biopharma Firm Fusion

AstraZeneca's latest push into oncology comes after its net profit almost doubled to $6 billion last year as a strong cancer division helped offset a wipeout for sales of its Covid treatments.


In this file photo an illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on November 17, 2020.

 

Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca agreed Tuesday to buy US biopharma firm Fusion for up to $2.4 billion, its latest expansion into cancer treatments.

Fusion is developing next-generation radiotherapy to treat cancer via precise targeting that minimises damage to healthy cells.

Its method also enables access to hard-to-reach tumours using standard radiation.

AstraZeneca’s latest push into oncology comes after its net profit almost doubled to $6 billion last year as a strong cancer division helped offset a wipeout for sales of its Covid treatments.

“AstraZeneca has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company,” the London-listed group said in a statement.

“The acquisition marks a major step forward in AstraZeneca delivering on its ambition to transform cancer treatment and outcomes for patients by replacing traditional regimens like chemotherapy and radiotherapy with more targeted treatments.”

“AstraZeneca is clearly optimistic about the future revenue streams which Fusion will bring to the business,” said Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“It’s developing next-generation radiopharmaceuticals as precision medicines, with specific hopes for advances in new treatment for prostate cancer.”

AstraZeneca, whose cancer treatments represent a third of its overall sales, saw its share price drop one percent following the news.

The company last week announced the purchase of French biotech specialist Amolyt Pharma for about $1 billion, bolstering its rare diseases division Alexion.