AstraZeneca today announced it will purchase U.S.-based biotech drugmaker MedImmunemaker of FluMist and Synagis, a drug used to treat childhood respiratory illnessesfor $15.6 billion or $58 per share.
The move will allow the British drugmaker to enter the vaccine market, andaccording to AstraZeneca representativesincrease the companys drug development from 45 to 163 projects. This acquisition represents a transformational step to deliver our biologics strategy sooner than anticipated, said David Brennan, AstraZenecas chief executive officer, in a news release.
Competition to purchase MedImmune, which brought in $1.28 billion in earnings last year, was stiff. AstraZeneca paid a 21% premium on the stock despite some investors concerns that FluMist, a drug that MedImmune expected to become a huge moneymaker, has had disappointing earnings. -- by Shawn Rhea