AstraZeneca, the British-Swedish drug giant whose US headquarters on US 202 north of Wilmington has been reduced by waves of layoffs of research PhDs and others, is pumping billions in profits and cost savings into acquisitions of companies that treat people with diseases associated with eating too much.
AZ said this morning it will buy San Diego-based Ardea Biosciences for $1.26 billion, or $32 a share, more than 50% above Ardea's recent trading level. Reuters says that gives "a new gout ["rich man's disease"] drug [lesinurad] to bolster its weak pipeline" and that the deal "feeds a wave of M&A in the biotechnology sector."
"The planned purchase shows Britain's second-biggest drugmaker delivering on a promise to step up deal-making to fix its drug pipeline," Reuters adds, noting that AstraZeneca research chief Martin Mackay has said he planned to buy companies worth "low billions".
AstraZeneca is also a possible buyer for Amylin, another San Diego biotech company that's developing hormone-based treatments for diabetes and obesity, Reuters says here.