AstraZeneca has announced it has successfully completed the acquisition of Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT), the British monoclonal antibody company.
The UK's second-largest pharmaceutical company now owns 100 per cent of CAT, having paid approximately 702 million pounds for the company.
AstraZeneca claims that the acquisition will be central to its ambitions to become a "major international presence" in the field of biological therapeutics.
CAT has already developed Humira, the best-selling anti-tumour necrosis factor drug licensed to Abbott Laboratories, providing AstraZeneca with a new revenue stream in the form of royalties from Abbott.
In addition, AstraZeneca has boosted its much-criticised product pipeline with the inclusion of CAT's proprietary pipeline, which includes a hairy-cell leukaemia treatment in phase II development and a severe asthma treatment in phase I development, which may be seen as complementary to AstraZeneca's existing asthma portfolio.
David Brennan, chief executive officer of AstraZeneca, stated: "It is our intention to both expand and broaden the scope of our discovery and development pipeline and we expect that, by 2010, up to a quarter of our candidates for full scale development will be biological therapeutic agents."
Peter Chambre, chief executive officer of CAT, added: "By enabling the resources of AstraZeneca to be committed to realising the full potential of the CAT technologies and capabilities, there is the opportunity to develop a global leadership position in biological therapeutics and a major pipeline of new biological medicines for the benefit of patients."
Recently, CAT was ranked 45th in a Financial Times poll of the UK's best workplaces. The company employs approximately 300 members of staff.See all the latest jobs in Pharmaceutical