The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (‘Alexion’) of the US by AstraZeneca PLC (‘AstraZeneca’) of the UK. Both are global pharmaceutical companies. Alexion focuses on the treatment of rare diseases, whilst AstraZeneca focuses on common diseases.
The transaction gives rise to (i) horizontal overlaps between AstraZeneca’s and Alexion’s pipeline drugs for the treatment of lupus nephritis, follicular lymphoma and peripheral T-cell lymphoma and (ii) a vertical link related to the manufacture of Uplizna, a drug for the treatment of various rare diseases. The Commission found that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of its limited impact on the markets concerned. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure.