Pfizer’s takeover bid of AstraZeneca has raised concerns regarding the company’s commitment to research and development, as well as potential job losses in UK drug research.
Pfizer has said that together with Astrazeneca, the company can open new opportunities to expand its global research capabilities and partnerships to better serve patients, BBC News reported. The company said that as of 28 February, 82 discovery projects are in development.
UK MPs stated that the acquisition of AstraZeneca would put research and manufacturing jobs at risk.
UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable told MPs that the government will not allow Pfizer to use the UK as a tax haven and promised to secure British science jobs.
Opposition leader Ed Miliband said to UK Prime Minister David Cameron that Pfizer’s bid for AstraZeneca affects one of the UK’s most significant investors in R&D, a major contributor to the country’s science base, and 6,700 high quality jobs in the UK.
Cameron and Miliband have clashed in the Commons at Prime Minister’s Questions over the proposed takeover of AstraZeneca by Pfizer. Miliband challenged Cameron to intervene in the proposed deal.
Cameron said he wanted Pfizer to give stronger guarantees on investment and job security in the UK in order to get his consent for acquiring AstraZeneca.
Pfizer tabled a £60bn ($101bn) in April, which AstraZeneca rejected, Reuters reported. According to industry analysts, Pfizer hopes that AstraZeneca’s acquisition could generate significant cost savings in addition to adding promising immunotherapies.
In May 2014, Pfizer has made an improved £62.6bn ($105.6bn) takeover bid for AstraZeneca. The AstraZeneca board rejected Pfizer’s proposal, saying that the financial and other terms described in the proposal are inadequate, substantially undervalue AstraZeneca and are not a basis on to engage with Pfizer.
Image: Pfizer world headquarters. Photo: courtesy of Jim.henderson.