AstraZeneca eyes up Gilead (Bloomberg)

AstraZeneca has made a preliminary approach to Gilead Sciences.

The suggestion of a blockbuster pharma merger might be a sign that the industry is getting back to something resembling business as usual. Even successful Covid-19 treatments or vaccines are unlikely to be big moneymakers, meaning drugmakers face the return of old pressures to gain scale and boost innovation, or risk becoming targets.

Speculating on the deal, John Rountree, said “Perhaps AstraZeneca has a belief that antivirals are going to be a much more important domain than previously believed, owing to the recent Covid-19 tragedy, and snapping up one of the clear leaders in that field will give it a platform for future growth beyond oncology”

It will be interesting to see what AstraZeneca offers and whether pharma M&A is still too expensive.