June 10 - AstraZeneca is to buy U.S. respiratory drug specialist Pearl Therapeutics for up to $1.15 billion as Britain's second biggest drugmaker steps up a drive to rebuild its product pipeline via deal-making. Hayley Platt reports.
$1.15 billion dollars is today's daily digit - the amount drugmaker AstraZeneca is paying for U.S. specialist Pearl Therapeutics. Together the two firms hope to develop a new class of lung treatments known as LABA/LAMA which are steroid-free. Chronic obstructive pulmonary lung disease (COPD) affects an estimated 210 million people world-wide. The new type of inhalers don't have the unpleasant side affects associated with steroids. AstraZeneca badly needs new products as patents on some of its older medicines begin to run out. The firm's CEO Pascal Soriot, who took over last October, has made respiratory treatment a core business area. He hopes Pearl's new inhalers will help Britain's second biggest drug maker keep up with rivals GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis. Pearl's lead product is in the final stages of clinical trials - and others are close behind. The deal is expected to be finalised later this year.