Pharmaceutical companies regularly come shopping in the Netherlands with a large bag of money. These pharmaceutical companies often buy the rights to a promising drug, and that’s always a bit of a gamble. An experimental drug is quickly promising, but the promise is not always fulfilled.
In 2015 the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca did a large purchase in Oss. Biotech company Acerta Pharma was quietly working on a new drug against leukemia which was absolutely promising. AstraZeneca paid $2.5 billion for a 55% majority stake in Acerta, an unprecedented amount for a company with zero sales. It has turned out to be an excellent gamble. The experimental drug from Acerta has been approved without any problems and last year under the brand name Calquence had a turnover of $1.2 billion. This means that the drug has achieved the ‘blockbuster status’ that pharmaceutical companies are so eager to accomplish. Moreover, the growth is still strong. In the first six months of this year, AstraZeneca sold to Calquence for $0.9 billion.
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