Research group Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease has signed a definitive agreement for acquiring and licensing Pfizer’s early-stage gene therapy portfolio for rare diseases.

Alexion will make a payment of $1bn, aside from sales-based royalty payments, to acquire the preclinical gene therapy assets.

The acquisition also comprises enabling technologies. Alexion will gain access to a number of new adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids, which are an efficient approach offering therapeutic gene cargos in gene therapies and gene editing processes.

The latest asset acquisition will enhance the combined expertise of Alexion and AstraZeneca in genomic therapy. 

Alexion CEO Marc Dunoyer stated: “The announcement represents another major step forward in Alexion and AstraZeneca’s ambition to be an industry leader in genomic medicine, which has the potential to be transformative and even curative for patients with devastating diseases. 

“We look forward to continuing our work to develop enhanced platforms and technologies with broad therapeutic applications while integrating best-in-class expertise to accelerate promising therapeutics into the clinic.”

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The deal will conclude in the third quarter of 2023.

In 2022, AstraZeneca acquired LogicBio to create novel genetic therapies with enhanced safety and efficacy profiles. 

The company reported total revenue of $11.4bn in the second quarter (Q2) of 2023 compared to $10.77bn in the prior year’s Q2, a 6% rise.

Core earnings per share rose by 25% for the quarter, to $2.15.

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