AstraZeneca ups CGT interest through $1bn Pfizer deal

Through its Alexion business, AstraZeneca will add a portfolio of preclinical gene therapies from fellow big pharma firm Pfizer.

Dan Stanton, Managing editor

July 28, 2023

2 Min Read
AstraZeneca ups CGT interest through $1bn Pfizer deal

Through its Alexion business, AstraZeneca will add a portfolio of preclinical gene therapies from fellow Big Pharma firm Pfizer.

The deal sees AstraZeneca pay Pfizer $1 billion, plus tiered royalties on sales, for a number of adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids, used as therapeutic gene cargos for the undisclosed gene therapy candidates.

The preclinical assets will form part of AstraZeneca’s rare disease division pipeline. AstraZeneca acquired Alexion in 2021 for $39 billion.



“Today’s announcement represents another major step forward in Alexion and AstraZeneca’s ambition to be an industry leader in genomic medicine, which has potential to be transformative and even curative for patients with devastating diseases,” Marc Dunoyer, Alexion CEO, said.

“We look forward to continuing our work to develop enhanced platforms and technologies with broad therapeutic application while integrating best-in-class expertise to accelerate promising therapeutics into the clinic.”

Unlike some of its fellow Big Pharma peers – Novartis, Roche, J&J, BMS etc – AstraZeneca has come to the cell and gene therapy (CGT) sector relatively late.

In October 2022, the firm took its first tentative step into the sector through the $68 million acquisition of LogicBio, adding technology platforms for the delivery and insertion of genes and a platform designed to improve viral vector manufacturing processes.

The following month, the firm doubled down in the sector, buying Neogene for $200 million. The deal brought a pipeline of T-cell receptor therapies (TCR-Ts) targeting neoantigens in solid cancers and a technology platform that identifies the neoantigens of the patient’s tumor, as well as TCR genes specific for these neoantigens within the tumor biopsies with high sensitivity and specificity, forming the basis for a fully individualized T cell therapy of the patient’s cancer.

About the Author(s)

Dan Stanton

Managing editor

Journalist covering the international biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing industries.

Founder and editor of Bioprocess Insider, a daily news offshoot of publication Bioprocess International, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, the following niches: CROs, CDMOs, M&A, IPOs, biotech, bioprocessing methods and equipment, drug delivery, regulatory affairs and business development.

From London, UK originally but currently based in Montpellier, France through a round-a-bout adventure that has seen me live and work in Leeds (UK), London, New Zealand, and China.

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