AstraZeneca buying early-stage oncology company in $2 billion deal


AstraZeneca has agreed to acquire Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Hamilton, Ontario that specializes in radioconjugates (RCs) that could become an alternative cancer treatment.

“The acquisition marks a major step forward in AstraZeneca delivering on its ambition to transform cancer treatment and outcomes for patients by replacing traditional regimens like chemotherapy and radiotherapy with more targeted treatments,” a release stated.

RC medicines deliver a radioactive isotope directly to cancer cells through precise targeting using molecules such as antibodies, peptides or small molecules. Compared to traditional radiotherapy, this approach has many potential advantages, including minimizing damage to healthy cells and enabling access to tumors that are inaccessible through radiation, the company noted.

The sale also strengthens the company’s presence and commitment to Canada, a release stated.

Susan Galbraith, executive vice president of Oncology R&D at AstraZeneca, said: “Between 30 and 50 percent of patients with cancer today receive radiotherapy at some point during treatment, and the acquisition of Fusion furthers our ambition to transform this aspect of care with next-generation radioconjugates.”


Fusion will become a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca, with operations continuing in Canada and the US.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, AstraZeneca, through a subsidiary, will acquire all of Fusion’s outstanding shares for $21 a share in cash at closing plus a non-transferable contingent value right of $3.00 a share in cash payable upon the achievement of a specified regulatory milestone.

The upfront cash portion of the consideration represents a transaction value of about $2 billion, a 97% premium to Fusion’s closing market price. Combined, the upfront and maximum potential contingent value payments represent, if achieved, a transaction value of about $2.4 billion.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024, subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of Fusion shareholders and regulatory clearances.

AstraZeneca employs about 1,500 in northern Delaware.

AZ has been buying companies as it works to bolster its drug portfolio with an emphasis on cancer and rare diseases.