AstraZeneca completes its US$39B buyout deal of Alexion as it sets to expand its portfolio into rare diseases

UK – AstraZeneca has completed its buyout process of Alexion pharmaceuticals in a move that will see the British pharma giant venture extensively into immunology medicines and rare disease therapy.

The deal came to fruition just a week after AstraZeneca secured a pivotal nod from the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

AstraZeneca, Alexion’s now-completed deal stands as a key stepping stone for AstraZeneca as it targets an ambitious sales goal of US$40 billion in just four years, up from the roughly US$26 billion it made in 2020.

With the deal’s closure comes an immediate US$6 billion bump to AstraZeneca’s top line as the drug maker secures two of Alexion’s major C5 inhibitor franchises, Soliris and Ultomiris.

Ultomiris, the follow up to Alexion’s paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) drug Soliris, has already cashed in US$701 million in sales at 2021’s midpoint, according to Alexions recent security filings.

Soliris in the meantime recorded far much superior sales during the first half of 2021 which stood at US$2.1B, a 5% increase.

Moving forward, AstraZeneca will use Alexion’s complement-biology platform across areas of AstraZeneca’s broader early stage pipeline, as well as to extend its rare disease medicines to countries where AstraZeneca already has a strong presence.

AstraZeneca has previously expressed hope that Alexion’s C5 inhibitors, so far relegated to rare diseases, could be used for more common ailments in oncology, neurology and respiratory.

But for now, Alexion is working to score additional Ultomiris indications ahead of Soliris’ expected loss of exclusivity in 2025.

The treatment, already approved to treat PNH and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, just notched a trial win toward its approval bid in generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) as well.

Rare disease drug market

Rare disease also known as orphan disease, is a disease that affects a relatively smaller percentage of the global population. Most of these rare diseases are genetic and present throughout the patient’s entire lifetime, even if the symptoms do not appear immediately.

According to the European Organization for Rare Diseases, an orphan drug is a pharmaceutical product that is used for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of these rare condition or diseases.

The global Orphan Drugs Market is segmented on the basis of disease type, indication, drug type, sale, drug, therapy class, distribution channel, and geography.

Orphan drugs market size was estimated to be US$ 147.56 billion in 2019 and expected to reach US$ 413.36 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 10%, according to insightSlice.

The forthcoming years of the orphan drug market is estimated to witness a significant boost in research and development as well as overall business operations and outreach.

It is also expected to increase in the rights of the patients, increased competition, better healthcare solutions being delivered by the orphan drugs and an increase in the number of investors, all at a significant rate.

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