AstraZeneca’s billion-dollar vaccine acquisition follows med-tech advancements

Category: Americas Europe M&A Med Tech

AstraZeneca has embarked on a transformative journey with the acquisition of Icosavax, a Seattle-based biotech company, in a landmark deal valued at up to US$1.1 billion. This strategic move is a pivotal step in the UK pharmaceutical group’s expansion within the infectious disease division, established during the coronavirus pandemic.

Specialised in respiratory virus

Icosavax, specializing in developing a potential vaccine targeting respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus, aligns seamlessly with AstraZeneca’s mission.

The vaccine’s success in the phase 3 trial could position AstraZeneca as a strong contender against established RSV vaccines by GSK and Pfizer, and potentially Moderna. Notably, AstraZeneca’s prior expertise in RSV, through collaboration with Sanofi for an infant protection antibody, adds depth to this strategic acquisition.

Evinova’s pioneering role in clinical trials

Simultaneously, AstraZeneca Plc has unveiled its foray into health technology with the launch of Evinova, a dedicated division aiming to integrate digital solutions and artificial intelligence into clinical trials. This innovative move, announced on Monday, promises to revolutionize clinical trial processes, offering potential cost and time reductions.

Collaborations with Parexel and Fortrea

Evinova has already attracted major players in the drug-testing arena, with Parexel and Fortrea entering collaborations to leverage its digital solutions. AstraZeneca envisions substantial growth in the digital health market, with a focus on research solutions and remote patient monitoring, along with contributions from screening, diagnostics, disease prevention, and digital pharmacies.

By concentrating on the power of digital solutions and AI, Evinova aims to address the longstanding challenges in clinical trials. AstraZeneca emphasizes that, on average, clinical trials take over 7 years to complete, and a staggering 80 percent fail to meet recruitment guidelines.

Evinova’s introduction marks a significant step toward enhancing efficiency and efficacy in the clinical trial landscape, propelling AstraZeneca into the forefront of health technology innovation.

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