US-based Pfizer may push ahead with a second approach for the takeover of UK-based AstraZeneca after the company reportedly rejected its initial £60bn ($101bn) bid.

Pfizer may approach AstraZeneca for the takeover as the company is currently looking to develop its cancer franchise, Reuters reported.

Citigroup analyst Andrew Baum said that Pfizer make could another bid due to AstraZeneca’s cancer drug pipeline, the company’s expertise in autoimmune diseases and the scope for taking out costs.

According to industry analysts, Pfizer hopes that the acquisition could generate significant cost savings, in addition to adding promising immunotherapies.

Citing senior investment bankers and industry sources, the Sunday Times reported that Pfizer has considered the £60bn takeover bid for AstraZeneca.

The newspaper said that informal conversations had taken place between the two companies about a deal and currently there were no discussions after AstraZeneca resisted the approach.

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"Pfizer hopes that the acquisition could generate significant cost savings, in addition to adding promising immunotherapies."

According to British financial blog Betaville, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been hired as defence advisors by AstraZeneca for the acquisition by Pfizer. The blog also reported that Pfizer may be working with JP Morgan to work on any potential bid.

As AstraZeneca’s patents are expiring on a number of best-selling drugs, future growth of the company is uncertain. Pfizer has faced patent losses of its own, notably anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor.

Pfizer’s breast cancer drug, palbociclib, is in late-stage development. However, the company’s cancer portfolio is relatively weak.

According to Thomson Reuters data, Pfizer has a market value of $193bn and AstraZeneca has a market value of approximately $80bn.

In 2009, Pfizer acquired the US-based a pharmaceutical company, Wyeth for $68bn.

Image: Pfizer world headquarters. Photo: courtesy of Jim.henderson.