An Australian company that got its big money from a major drugmaker is moving into the healthcare market.
Lexicon Pharma is investing $500m in Covis Pharma, which makes a blood thinning drug.
The deal could be one of the biggest in Australia’s history.
It comes amid rising concerns about drug prices and the cost of healthcare in Australia.
Lexis Pharmaceutical, which also made the drug, said it would pay Covis $100m in cash and stock over three years, to take its place as a new drug developer.
The acquisition is the biggest for Covis since it went public in 2016, after acquiring rival AstraZeneca for $US1.2 billion.
In a statement, Covis said the deal was a natural extension of its success, which was built on strong business, strategic partnerships and a long-standing relationship with Lexicon.
“The acquisition brings a broad array of expertise and expertise, and brings the combined company a powerful platform that allows it to better integrate Covis’ expertise, products and services into new and innovative healthcare solutions,” Covis CEO John S. Johnson said in a statement.
“This partnership will provide our patients, their doctors, and the Covis team with greater access to the best clinical and commercial solutions for their healthcare needs.”
AstraZeneca CEO Peter O’Brien said the acquisition would provide Covis “the capability to drive the growth of Covid-19 treatments and accelerate the development of new drugs to treat the pandemic”.
The new company would be a subsidiary of Covisa, which merged with Covis in December 2016.
Covis is the world’s largest maker of blood thinners.
It is a pioneer in the field of drug development, having developed the first drug to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The company said it was working with its new owners to bring the Covisa brand and the expertise that Covis has brought to the field.
“As Covis continues to expand its business and focus on the healthcare sector, we believe this acquisition will benefit both our patients and our industry in general,” Covisa CEO Richard Glynn said in the statement.
Cavis said it will use its $US5 billion in assets to expand the Covid vaccine.
It has already acquired a vaccine developed by Astra Zeneca.
Lexicons shares closed at $US3.62 on Friday.