AstraZeneca acquires Caelum Biosciences in a $500 million M&A deal

AstraZeneca acquires Caelum Biosciences in a $500 million M&A deal

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said on Tuesday it would take full control of biotech company Caelum Biosciences in a deal worth up to $500 million.

Office of the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in Cheshire, England. Photo: AFP/VNA

The deal further underscores AstraZeneca’s focus on drugs for rare diseases, after it bought US drugmaker Alexion Pharmaceuticals for $39 billion this year. Caelum will become a part of Alexion.

Acquiring Caelum Biosciences will give AstraZeneca access to a range of other rare and potentially lucrative drugs. The drug is in the late stages of testing and has qualified for review by US regulators.

Caelum’s drug is aimed at treating light-chain amyloidosis (AL amyloidosis), a rare, life-threatening disease that destroys the heart and kidneys. It is estimated that there are now 20,000 people in six Western countries with the disease.

Since AstraZeneca bought Alexion, rare drugs have brought the company many mixed fortunes. While testing a series of drugs to treat Wilson’s disease – a genetic disorder that prevents the body from getting rid of excess copper, leading to copper being deposited in body tissues – has been While producing promising results, AstraZeneca had to stop testing the drug for amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis after it failed to work.