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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle

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AstraZeneca to buy China’s Gracell Biotechnologies in $1.2 billion deal

The logo for AstraZeneca is seen outside its North America headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., March 22, 2021. REUTERS/Rachel Wisniewski/File Photo
The logo for AstraZeneca is seen outside its North America headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S... The logo for AstraZeneca is seen outside its North America headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., March 22, 2021. REUTERS/Rachel Wisniewski/File Photo
The logo for AstraZeneca is seen outside its North America headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., March 22, 2021. REUTERS/Rachel Wisniewski/File Photo
The logo for AstraZeneca is seen outside its North America headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S... The logo for AstraZeneca is seen outside its North America headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., March 22, 2021. REUTERS/Rachel Wisniewski/File Photo

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On Tuesday, AstraZeneca (AZN.L) announced that it will acquire Gracell Biotechnologies (GRCL.O) for a price that may reach up to $1.2 billion. This acquisition comes as the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical firm continues to advance its cell therapy goals and strengthen its position in China, the world’s second-largest market for medicines.

Gracell is valued at $2 per ordinary share, or $10 per ADS of Gracell, due to the cash acquisition, which includes a non-tradable contingent value right of $0.30 per ordinary share, provided that certain regulatory milestones are completed. This deal adds many investigational treatments to AstraZeneca’s portfolio.

During premarket trading in the United States, shares of Gracell, located in China, increased by 65 percent. AstraZeneca is one of Asia’s most successful pharmaceutical companies, contributing thirteen percent of the firm’s total revenues in 2022.

“The proposed acquisition of Gracell will complement AstraZeneca’s existing capabilities and previous investments in cell therapy,” said Susan Galbraith, Vice President of Research and Development for Oncology at AstraZeneca. “We have established our presence in CAR-T and T-cell receptor therapies in solid tumors,” Galbraith said in a statement.

Autologous CAR-T treatment is a form of cell therapy that involves reprogramming the immunological T-cells of a patient, which are an essential component of the body’s immune response, to target disease-causing cells specifically. The FasTCAR platform developed by Gracell contributes to improving T-cell fitness, which can potentially boost therapy efficacy in patients.

As of September 30, 2023, AstraZeneca will also acquire the cash, cash equivalents, and short-term assets that Gracell possesses for $234.1 million. The announcement indicates that the transaction is anticipated to be finalized within the first quarter of the year 2024.

At the end of the previous month, AstraZeneca reached an agreement with Eccogene, a Chinese company, to license an experimental anti-obesity tablet. Additionally, in August, the company revealed that it had entered into a contract manufacturing agreement with CanSino Biologics for its messenger RNA technology vaccination program.

Pascal Soriot, the CEO of AstraZeneca, said earlier this year that the company had inked three license agreements with Chinese firms.


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