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AstraZeneca Snags Stake In Acerta …

by Lisa M. Jarvis
December 21, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 49

AstraZeneca has agreed to pay $4 billion for a 55% stake in privately held Acerta Pharma. The centerpiece of the deal is acalabrutinib, a second-generation BTK inhibitor in Phase III studies to treat certain blood cancers. If successful, the molecule would compete with Imbruvica, an approved BTK inhibitor developed by Pharmacyclics, which AbbVie acquired earlier this year for $21 billion. AstraZeneca has also secured an option to acquire the remaining shares in Acerta for roughly $3 billion.

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