AstraZeneca Acquires Arrow Therapeutics To Broaden Anti-Infective Capabilities


AstraZeneca announced an agreement to acquire Arrow Therapeutics Ltd., a privately owned UK biotechnology company, focused on the discovery and development of anti-viral therapies. The total share capital of Arrow Therapeutics will be purchased for $150m cash, subject to debt and working capital adjustment. The transaction is expected to close early in 2007.

According to the company, the deal is an important strategic step for AstraZeneca, strengthening its portfolio of promising anti-infective treatments from external opportunities and providing a widely recognised expert group and technology platform in an area of research that complements internal capabilities in anti-bacterials. The deal also fits with AstraZeneca's decision to re-focus its disease area research with infection and anti-bacterials now one of the company's key therapy areas.

The anti-viral programmes developed by Arrow Therapeutics, include several different approaches towards Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). The acquisition of Arrow Therapeutics augments AstraZeneca's portfolio with clinical and pre-clinical compounds and programmes. These assets include two anti-HCV compounds which both target the novel NS5a protein, including A-831 in Phase I. Arrow's most advanced compound is RSV604, currently in Phase II clinical development and partnered with Novartis. RSV604 is a first-in-class, small molecule, oral anti-RSV compound.

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