CAT fetches $1.3B in AstraZeneca buyout

AstraZeneca, Europe's third-largest pharma company, is buying out Cambridge Antibody Technology in a deal that values the company at $1.3 billion. The deal adds new antibody therapies--immune defenses--to AstraZeneca's pipeline. CAT and AstraZeneca have already been engaged in a long-term development pact, leading some analysts to question the full value of the deal for shareholders. The buyout comes fast on the heels of last week's announcement that Merck is buying two biotech companies and underscores just how much money drug developers will spend to acquire new therapies for thin pipelines. Within the last year AstraZeneca also bought Kudos Pharmaceuticals and Targacept.

"This acquisition represents a major long-term strategic investment by AstraZeneca in novel biological therapeutics," David Brennan, the CEO of AstraZeneca said.

- read the AP report for more information

PLUS: The buyout will give Genzyme the option to buy full rights to a jointly developed lung therapy. Report