• February 8, 2023

AstraZeneca sold its stake in Moderna for more than $1 billion, as it looks to develop its own pipeline of drugs

AstraZeneca
AZN, + 0.50%
sold its entire 7.7% stake in US biotech company Moderna for more than $ 1 billion.

The money from the sale of AstraZeneca’s stake will help prop up the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company’s finances as it develops its own pipeline of drugs and plans to complete it $ 39 billion Acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, based in Boston
ALXN, -0.14%.
This deal will strengthen its position in the lucrative orphan drug space and increase drug sales in new markets, particularly in China.

“In 2020, AstraZeneca sold a portion of its equity portfolio for an equivalent of $ 1.3 billion, a large portion of which was due to the sale of its full stake in Moderna,” AstraZeneca said in its report Annual report 2020.

Shares in Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts
MRNA, + 1.56%,
Listed on the Nasdaq in 2018, the company more than quintupled in value in 2020 after US biotechnology began developing its emergency-approved two-shot vaccine, COVID, in the US, European Union and the UK -19 had started. among other countries.

Read: For example, AstraZeneca says Covid-19 could accelerate clinical trials of cancer

Last week Moderna
0A45, + 0.85%
The COVID-19 vaccine expected sales of $ 18.4 billion this year – more than its US rival Pfizer
PFE + 0.55%
The company predicts sales of $ 15 billion from its share of sales of the vaccine, which it developed with partner BioNTech
BNTX, + 1.31%.

Read: Moderna first reports $ 570 million in revenue from COVID-19 vaccine sales

Modern
MRNA, + 0.39%
plans to produce at least 700 million doses of its vaccine in 2021, compared to a previous estimate of the lower range of 600 million, with a new target of 1.4 billion doses in 2022.

The company’s stock, which is up more than 48% this year, rose 2.45% in New York premarket trading on Monday.

The sale of the Moderna stake takes place eight years after Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive of AstraZeneca, a $ 240 million Investing in Moderna to gain access to the startup’s expertise in manipulating RNA or ribonucleic acid, which contributes to the formation of proteins in cells.

Read: AstraZeneca bet on Moderna in 2013. Well worth it now

Under this agreement, AstraZeneca
AZN, + 0.50%
won the exclusive right to select up to 40 drugs for development for five years. In addition to the initial $ 240 million, Moderna was entitled to $ 180 million for certain technical milestones and payments and royalties for drugs developed by AstraZeneca. At the time, it was one of the largest upfront payments in a pharmaceutical industry license agreement that had not already tested any drug in clinical trials.

AstraZeneca
0A4J, -1.99%
will maintain the partnership with Moderna in other disease treatments and is currently carrying out 19 projects in the fields of cardiovascular, renal and metabolic as well as oncology with US biotechnology.

Read: AstraZeneca Profit, Revenue Up, Guides for Growth

AstraZeneca’s shares, which have fallen nearly 4.8% so far this year, were unchanged in London trading on Monday.

Last week, AstraZeneca announced that the company continues to intend to ship 180 million doses of its Oxford University-developed COVID-19 vaccine to the EU in the second quarter of the year as the block of 27 continues to grapple with supply issues.

The sale of AstraZeneca’s stake in Moderna was first reported by the times of London.

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