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AstraZeneca shares down after report it approached Gilead

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 8, 2020 - Duration: 01:09s

AstraZeneca shares down after report it approached Gilead

Shares in Britain's AstraZeneca opened lower on Monday after a report it had approached U.S. rival Gilead Sciences about a possible merger.

Ciara Lee reports

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AstraZeneca shares down after report it approached Gilead

Shares in Britain's AstraZeneca fell over 2% in early trades on Monday (June 8).

After a report from

Class="kln">Bloomberg suggested it had approached U.S. rival Gilead Sciences about a possible merger.

A union would create one of the world's largest drug companies.

And together, the two companies would have a market capitalisation of around $232 billion.

It would also unite two drugmakers at the forefront of efforts to fight the new coronavirus.

But that could be politically complicated as governments seek control over potential treatments.

And there were some raised eyebrows over the report on Monday.

One analyst questioned why the British group would seek to tie up with a company that is growing at a slower pace.

The report by Bloomberg said AstraZeneca contacted Gilead last month, but that its U.S. rival was not interested in combining with another big pharmaceuticals company.

Early research has shown that one of Astra's cancer drugs may help hospitalised patients get through the worst of Covid-19.

And Gilead Science's antiviral drug remdesivir has proven to provide a modest benefit to some patients with moderate symptoms of the illness.

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