Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has agreed to buy fellow pharma company Bristol-Myers Squibb out of a diabetes partnership that has been responsible for bringing a number of diabetes drugs to market.
The deal is thought to cost AstraZeneca $4.1 billion and will give them the existing diabetes medications in the AstraZeneca Bristol portfolio. The collaboration between the two companies has been responsible for a number of drugs for diabetes including Onglyza (saxagliptin), Bydureon (exenatide) and, more recently, the SGLT-2 inhibitor Forxiga (dapagliflozin).
Bristol Myers Squibb made the decision to withdraw from diabetes research in November and aims to concentrate on other areas of research such as the development of anti-cancer drugs.
In 2012, the pairing had bought out Amylin Pharmaceuticals but the deal was not entirely a success with the drug Bydureon failing to perform as well as had been expected.
The immediate reaction on the financial markets is that AstraZeneca’s shares have hit an 11 year high. The deal marks a long term commitment to diabetes research that help keep the company as a key competitor against other pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi, Novo Nordisk, GlaxoSmithKlei, Merck, Lilly and Takeda.

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