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The UK drugs giant AstraZeneca wants its US rival Gilead to consider a merger

AstraZeneca, the UK’s largest pharmaceuticals firm, approached its heavyweight US competitor Gilead to discuss a merger, according to Bloomberg.

AstraZeneca contacted Gilead in May but “didn’t specify terms for any transaction,” Bloomberg said, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Discussions with advisers are reportedly underway at Gilead, but the companies aren’t in formal talks, they said.

Gilead is not interested in merging with a rival, Bloomberg said, preferring to focus on smaller acquisitions.

As of Friday, AstraZeneca was worth $141 billion and Gilead $96 billion. If a merger went ahead it would be the largest ever in the industry.

FILE PHOTO: Gilead Sciences Inc pharmaceutical company is seen after they announced a Phase 3 Trial of the investigational antiviral drug Remdesivir in patients with severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Oceanside, California, U.S., April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

FILE PHOTO: Gilead Sciences Inc pharmaceutical company is seen during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in California

Reuters


AstraZeneca is currently partnering with the Oxford Vaccine Group to help roll out an inoculation against the coronavirus, if a product is approved.

Gilead is not working on a vaccine, and in May ceased work on two potential antiviral treatments for COVID-19.

Business Insider contacted both firms for comment but is yet to receive a response. 

AstraZeneca told Bloomberg the company doesn’t comment on “rumors or speculation.” 

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