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AstraZeneca completes Icosavax acquisition for US$1.1B 

AstraZeneca completes Icosavax acquisition for US$1.1B 

USA— British pharmaceutical giant AstraZenec has finalized the acquisition of Icosavax, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, in a deal valued at US$1.1 billion. 

Initially announced in December 2023, the acquisition involved a tender offer for all outstanding shares of Icosavax at US$15 each, complemented by additional contingent value rights. 

AstraZeneca’s strategic vision behind this acquisition is to harness the innovative protein virus-like particle (VLP) platform pioneered by Icosavax, aiming to develop a portfolio of vaccines with superior efficacy and safety profiles. 

Following the completion of the acquisition, Icosavax will function as a subsidiary of AstraZeneca, headquartered in Seattle, United States. 

A key driver of AstraZeneca’s interest in Icosavax is the potential of its leading investigational vaccine candidate, IVX-A12, which is poised for Phase III readiness. 

IVX-A12 shows promising prospects in combatting respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV), both significant causes of severe respiratory illnesses and frequent hospitalizations, particularly among vulnerable demographics like the elderly and individuals with chronic ailments. 

Clinical data from Phase II trials have demonstrated IVX-A12’s ability to elicit robust immune responses against RSV and hMPV within a short timeframe post-vaccination, coupled with a favorable safety profile consistent with earlier Phase I findings. 

Further underscoring its potential, IVX-A12 has garnered fast-track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), highlighting its importance in addressing critical unmet medical needs. 

The integration of Icosavax’s proficiency in protein design and VLP technology into AstraZeneca’s operations is anticipated to catalyze the development of innovative vaccines targeting respiratory conditions, aligning with AstraZeneca’s commitment to advancing treatments across diverse therapeutic domains, including respiratory health. 

AstraZeneca’s dedication to addressing respiratory diseases is further exemplified by recent regulatory approvals, such as Tagrisso plus chemotherapy for locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with epidermal growth factor receptor mutations in adults. 

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca has reported significant strides in the treatment of lung cancer, with its flagship medication demonstrating efficacy in slowing disease progression during its early stages. 

The recently FDA-approved drug, Tagrisso, has exhibited a “statistically significant and highly clinically meaningful” advancement in impeding the progression of a variant of the most prevalent form of the disease, according to the company’s statement. 

The clinical trial for Tagrisso targeted patients diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer, which accounts for the majority of cases. 

Specifically, it focused on individuals harboring an epidermal growth factor receptor mutation, a genetic anomaly prevalent in 10 to 15 percent of cases in Europe and the US, and up to 40 percent in Asia.  

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