AstraZeneca, a leading pharmaceutical company, has made a significant move in the field of cancer drug development with its acquisition of Gracell Biotechnologies. The deal, valued at up to $1.2 billion, is expected to further AstraZeneca's cell therapy ambitions.

Strengthening Capabilities in Cell Therapy

Susan Galbraith, executive vice president of oncology R&D at AstraZeneca, stated, "The proposed acquisition of Gracell will complement AstraZeneca’s existing capabilities and previous investments in cell therapy, where we have established our presence in CAR-T and T-cell receptor therapies (TCR-Ts) in solid tumors." This strategic move showcases AstraZeneca's commitment to advancing innovative treatments for cancer patients.

Details of the Deal

Under the terms of the agreement, Gracell shareholders will receive $2 for each ordinary share, which amounts to $10 per American depositary share in cash. Additionally, they will be granted a share-purchase contingent value right of 30 cents per share. The completion of the transaction is anticipated in the first quarter of 2024, subject to regulatory conditions and approval from Gracell shareholders.

Market Impact

The news of this acquisition has garnered significant attention in the market. Gracell's American depositary receipts experienced a surge of 61% in premarket trading on Tuesday, reaching $9.95. Throughout this year, the stock has already soared by an impressive 169%.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca's American depositary receipts, which had seen a decline of 2.2% in 2024 so far, showed a positive shift of 0.5% in premarket trading.

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