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'STRENGTHENING OUR ARSENAL'

RESEARCH

Swedes buy US cancer research firm

AstraZeneca said on Tuesday that it has agreed to buy US-based cancer drugs company Amplimmune, as the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals group seeks to bolster its flagging pipeline of new products.

Swedes buy US cancer research firm

Under the deal, MedImmune will acquire 100 percent of Amplimmune’s shares for an initial price of $225 million, with another $275 million deferred until it reaches key drug-development milestones.to fight cancer will be complemented by Amplimmune’s innovative work in this area,” said Bahija Jallal, executive vice president of MedImmune. “It will allow us to strengthen our arsenal of potential cancer therapies.

“We are excited to be working with the Amplimmune team to help find new treatments to address areas of unmet medical need.”

“AstraZeneca today announced that MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Amplimmune, a privately-held, Maryland, US-based biologics company focused on developing novel therapeutics in cancer immunology,” a statement said.

“MedImmune’s focus on harnessing the power of the patient’s own immune system

Amplimmune is AstraZeneca’s latest acquisition under new chief executive Pascal Soriot, who joined in October last year. The London-listed group purchased US firm Pearl Therapeutics in June for up to $1.15 billion.

AFP/The Local/at

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NORWAY

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland
Empty vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.

The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.

Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point. 

“If we do resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will get the doses back as soon as we ask,” Høie said.

Like neighbouring Denmark, Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on March 11 in order to examine rare but potentially severe side effects, including blood clots.

Among the 134,000 AstraZeneca shots administered in Norway before the suspension, five cases of severe thrombosis, including three fatal ones, had been registered among relatively young people in otherwise good health. One other person died of a brain haemorrhage.

On April 15, Norway’s government ignored a recommendation from the Institute of Public Health to drop the AstraZeneca jab for good, saying it wanted more time to decide.

READ MORE: Norway delays final decision on withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccine 

The government has therefore set up a committee of Norwegian and international experts tasked with studying all of the risks linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which is also suspected of causing blood clots.

Both are both based on adenovirus vector technology. Denmark is the only European country to have dropped the AstraZeneca
vaccine from its vaccination campaign, and said on Tuesday it would “lend” 55,000 doses to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

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