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Astra Plots Post-Covid Future With $39 Billion Alexion Deal

Dec. 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

AstraZeneca Plc, one of the drugmakers leading the fight against Covid-19, highlighted where its growth will come from after the pandemic with a $39 billion deal for rare-disease specialist Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The proposed cash-and-stock acquisition will add treatments for uncommon blood and immunological disorders to the portfolio of Cambridge, U.K.-based AstraZeneca, which had spent years paring away older and less profitable products to focus on cancer.

While the pandemic smothered economies and AstraZeneca entered a relatively low-return project to develop a Covid-19 vaccine with the University of Oxford, Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot kept his eyes downfield. After ...