Graphic shows 10 largest pharmaceutical mergers.


Largest healthcare deals on record

By Duncan Mil

June 8, 2020 - British-Swedish company AstraZeneca, co-developer of an experimental coronavirus vaccine, has approached U.S. rival Gilead Sciences over a possible merger to form the world’s largest drug company, according to a Bloomberg report.

Gilead was worth $96 billion at Friday’s close, while AstraZeneca has a market value of about $140 billion. A potential deal between two of the most prominent players in the coronavirus pandemic could create a behemoth amongst big pharma with a market value of nearly $240 billion.

California-based Gilead is one of the most successful makers of antiviral drugs. It’s remdesivir drug received emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May as a coronavirus treatment.

AstraZeneca has an impressive pipeline of drugs in oncology, cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Meanwhile, the Cambridge-based company is collaborating with Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group to develop a recombinant adenovirus vaccine. The so-called AZD1222 vaccine began phase I and II clinical trials in April to assess safety, immunogenicity and efficacy in over 1,000 healthy volunteers in the UK.

While a merger could unite the two companies in their fight against coronavirus, uncertainty caused by the pandemic has dampened enthusiasm for mega-mergers, according to some city analysts.

PUBLISHED: 08/06/2020; STORY: Graphic News
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