AstraZeneca announced today it will acquire a majority stake in Acerta for $4 billion. As a result, AstraZeneca gains access to Acerta’s irreversible oral Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) inhibitor, acalabrutinib (ACP-196), currently in Phase III development for B-cell blood cancers and in Phase I/II clinical trials in multiple solid tumors.
AstraZeneca will acquire 55% of Acerta for $2.5 billion upfront and $1.5 billion to be paid either on receipt of the first acalabrutinib regulatory approval for any indication in the U.S., or the end of 2018, depending on which is first. The agreement also includes options that would allow AstraZeneca to buy the remaining 45% of shares in Acerta for approximately $3.0 billion.
AstraZeneca has been on a year-end buying spree. Yesterday, it acquired Takeda’s respiratory portfolio for $575 million and early in November it bought ZS Pharma for approximately $2.7 billion.