AstraZeneca takeover: Science Minister David Willetts warns 'bigger not always better'
Science minister David Willets has warned AstraZeneca risks being reduced to a "junior partner" in an industry where “bigger is not always better” if Pfizer succeeds in its £63 billion takeover.
AstraZeneca would be the “junior partner” of a pharmaceuticals behemoth in an industry where “bigger is not always better” if Pfizer succeeds in its £63 billion takeover, MPs today warned science minister David Willetts.
Andrew Miller, chair of the Science Select Committee which grilled Pfizer boss Ian Read and AstraZeneca’s chief executive Pascal Soriot yesterday, said that the US Viagra-maker’s promises on jobs, including employing a fifth of its research staff in the UK for five years, were “of little value in an industry that measures progress by decades rather than years.”
He added: “science is a long-term enterprise and it requires a genuinely long-term commitment. We are not yet convinced that this is what Pfizer is offering.”
European competition regulators also admitted Pfizer has made not sought advice or talks over any hurdles that a deal would face from authorities. Joaquin Almunia, vice president of the European Commission and head of competition said Pfizer had made “no contact, no conversation”.
That’s despite the potential takeover falling under the jurisdiction of European authorities rather than the UK’s competition watchdog due to its size.
The City widely expects the US pharmaceuticals giant to table a higher bid, as early as tomorrow. Pfizer faces a “put up or shut up” deadline of 26 May.
AstraZeneca continued its rush of drug announcements, this time thrusting new cancer treatment AZD9291 into the limelight. The drug, initially aimed at lung cancer but with the potential to target a wide range of tumours, is the one Astra’s chief executive Pascal Soriot is thought to have referred when he told MPs the heavy cost-cutting involved in a Pfizer deal could cost lives by delaying drug developments.
The City reckons AZD9291 could be worth $3 billion (£1.8 billion).
- 3 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 4 Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
- 5 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Russian warships accused of 'chasing away' Swedish vessel to prevent Baltic States from achieving energy independence
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
iJobs Money & Business
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...