9 January (Reuters) AstraZeneca (AZN.L) declared on Monday that it has reached an agreement to acquire American drug-development company CinCor Pharma Inc (CINC.O) for up to $1.8 billion in order to expand its supply of heart and kidney medications.
The experimental medication baxdrostat, which is being developed by CinCor to treat illnesses like high blood pressure and chronic renal disease, is at the heart of the agreement.
Baxdrostat’s sales skyrocketed after it was discovered to help those with heart failure and renal illness, and AstraZeneca wants to combine it with its own Farxiga, a diabetic medication.
Farxiga, whose sales increased by almost 50% in the first nine months of 2022 to reach $3.2 billion, is in a class of medications that is extremely competitive and has competitors like Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly’s.
About a third of AstraZeneca’s revenue comes from the sale of its cancer medications, but the company’s heart, kidney, and diabetes drugs rank as its second-most lucrative segment in terms of sales, accounting for about $6.9 billion of the drugmaker’s overall revenue of more than $33 billion in the first three quarters of 2022.
According to a note published last week by BMO Capital Market analysts, generic competition for Farxiga, the oncology medications Lynparza and Calquence, and possibly even earlier, could begin in 2024.
According to Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of biopharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, a combination of baxdrostat with Farxiga might theoretically allow AstraZeneca to extend its Farxiga franchise.
The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (.NBI) lost around 20% of its value by mid-December compared to its peak in August 2021, which encouraged major pharmaceutical companies to look for partnerships to restock their pipelines as their top-selling products neared the end of their patent protection periods.
The effectiveness of CinCor’s baxdrostat in treating hypertension has been questionable.
A mid-stage study involving patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure found that the medication did not perform better than a placebo, despite its success in a phase II treatment-resistant hypertension trial.
Monday’s trading session was in the middle when AstraZeneca’s stock fell by around 1%.
Prior to leading CinCor, CEO Marc de Garidel oversaw Corvidia Therapeutics, an AstraZeneca subsidiary that Novo Nordisk (NOVOb.CO) acquired in 2020 for $2.1 billion. Garidel is also the chairman (and former CEO) of the French pharmaceutical company Ipsen (IPN.PA), which on Monday also decided to acquire the American pharmaceutical company Albireo (ALBO.O) for less than $1 billion in order to expand its pipeline for rare diseases.
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