Business and Finances: April 2007 Archives

U.K. drug giant buys vaccine firm


medImmune LONDON–AstraZeneca PLC said yesterday it is buying U.S.-based biotech drug maker MedImmune Inc. in a $15.6 billion (U.S.) deal that will allow the British company to enter the vaccines market.

AstraZeneca, looking to strengthen its pipeline of future drugs as it faces patent challenges and escalating generic competition, will pay $58 per share for MedImmune, a 21 per cent premium to the stock's close Friday.

The deal, which AstraZeneca hopes to close in June, will increase the company's proportion of biotechnology drugs in its pipeline to 27 per cent from 7 per cent, and enlarge its total pipeline by 45 projects to 163 projects.