AstraZeneca boosts cancer arsenal with Acerta deal

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U.K. pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has bolstered its blood cancer treatment portfolio by buying a 55 percent stake in Acerta Pharma in a deal valued at $4 billion dollars.

The deal includes the drug acalabrutinib, which can be used in the treatment of blood cancers, replacing chemotherapy and anti-body treatments.

In a statement issued Thursday, AZ announced it would pay $2.5 billion upfront for the for an upfront payment of $2.5 billion. A further unconditional payment of $1.5 billion will be paid either on receipt of the first U.S. regulatory approval for acalabrutinib or the end of 2018.

In the statement Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca, said: "We are boosting a key area in our comprehensive oncology portfolio with a late-stage, potential best-in-class medicine that could transform treatment for patients across a range of blood cancers."

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