AstraZeneca sells Moderna stake for over $1 billion
AstraZeneca Plc got rid of its 7.7% stake in Moderna, and it was sold for more than $1 billion. The sale happened following the surge of the British–Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company’s shares due to its COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough.
The stake selling move by the pharma firm
Then again, Reuters reported that it is not clear as to when AstraZeneca sold its Moderna stake. When contacted to clarify and provide more details about the matter, the outlet stated that both AstraZeneca and Moderna were not able to respond to the requests for comments immediately.
But despite the sale, it was said that AstraZeneca will still retain its team up with Moderna Inc. for the research and production of drugs for treating other diseases. The British–Swedish pharmaceutical company may also sell its AstraZeneca/Oxford University coronavirus vaccine on a commercial scale in the future if COVID-19 becomes endemic.
At any rate, the vaccine that Moderna made for COVID-19 has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use in the U.S. With its vaccine alone, the American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company says it is expecting $18.4 billion from the sale of its coronavirus vaccine this year.
How AstraZeneca will use the cash from the sale
The Times reported that AstraZeneca was Moderna’s second-biggest investor in 2020, but now it has sold its 7.7% stakes. The gains from the sale of Moderna holding is equivalent to $1.2 billion, and this will be added to Astra’s funds intended for developing its own drug line.
Part of the cash will also be used to complete AstraZeneca’s purchase of the American pharmaceutical that makes drugs for the treatment of rare diseases and disorders, Alexion. This was purchased by Astra for $39 billion, which makes it the company’s biggest acquisition.
AstraZeneca’s purchase of Alexion was announced in December 2020. It was announced that the rare disease unit would be based in Boston once the deal is completed. Finally, the procurement of the pharma firm will strengthen AstraZeneca’s income and will further help Alexion’s presence on the global stage to become more prominent.