AstraZeneca buys US lung drug firm for up to £740m

Suzie Neuwirth

ASTRAZENECA said today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire US respiratory drug specialist Pearl Therapeutics for up to $1.15bn (£740m).

The pharmaceuticals giant will pay $560m up front and a further $450m dependent on specific development and regulatory milestones.

Sales-related payments of up to a further $140m are payable it sales thresholds are met.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013.

Kevin Ferro, chairman of the Board of Pearl Therapeutics and chief executive of Vatera Healthcare Partners, Pearl's lead investor, said: “We have been impressed with AstraZeneca's expertise, focus and speed of execution and are delighted to be joining the group, a global leader in respiratory disease, as we believe that Pearl will be an excellent fit for its respiratory portfolio.”