AstraZeneca has announced the conclusion of its acquisition of clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Fusion Pharmaceuticals.

Fusion specialises in the development of next-generation radioconjugates (RCs) for cancer treatment.

The acquisition is expected to help AstraZeneca transform cancer therapy by introducing more targeted treatments.

A definitive agreement signed in March 2024 resulted in AstraZeneca, through a subsidiary, acquiring all outstanding shares of Fusion for $21.00 per share in cash at closing.

A non-transferable contingent value right of $3 per share is payable upon reaching a specified regulatory milestone before 31 August 2029.

The upfront payment and maximum potential contingent value payment take the transaction value to $2.4bn. 

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AstraZeneca has acquired Fusion’s cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, which totalled $211m as of 31 March 2024.

Fusion now operates as a wholly owned AstraZeneca subsidiary, with operations continuing in Canada and the US.

The move aligns with AstraZeneca’s plan to enhance cancer treatment and patient outcomes by replacing traditional chemotherapy and radiotherapy with more precise treatment modalities.

The acquisition enriches AstraZeneca’s oncology portfolio and reinforces its presence in Canada.

AstraZeneca has gained access to Fusion’s pipeline of RCs, including FPI-2265, its most advanced programme.

FPI-2265 is a promising new treatment for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, and is currently in a Phase II trial.

FPI-2265 utilises actinium-225, an alpha particle-emitting radioisotope, which can deliver a higher radiation dose over a shorter distance.

This could result in more effective cancer cell destruction while minimising damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

The takeover also introduces new expertise and capabilities in actinium-based RCs to AstraZeneca, including pioneering research and development, manufacturing, and supply chain operations.