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AbbVie's Acquisition of Allergan Gets Help From Nestle and AstraZeneca

By Cory Renauer - Jan 27, 2020 at 11:35AM

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A pair of deals will remove some regulatory impediments to the merger.

Some unlikely good Samaritans are going out of their way to help AbbVie (ABBV 0.42%) and Allergan (AGN) complete the $63 billion merger deal the giant drugmakers announced last June. To appease antitrust regulators, AstraZeneca (AZN -0.18%) will take back control of an experimental psoriasis drug, and Nestle will acquire a gastrointestinal medication from Allergan.   

Hello again 

Allergan was developing a monoclonal antibody that inhibits interleukin 23 (IL-23) called brazikumab for the treatment of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. AbbVie recently launched its own IL-23 inhibitor, risankizumab, under the brand name Skyrizi for the treatment of psoriasis.

A hand stuffing money in a doctor's pocket.

Image source: Getty Images.

Allergan had licensed brazikumab from AstraZeneca; now, it will return the antibody to the big British pharmaceutical company. At the moment, brazikumab and Skyrizi are both in late-stage clinical trials for the treatment of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

More than just cocoa 

You're probably more familiar with the Swiss food conglomerate's packaged food brands, but Nestle is also a leading player in the growing medical nutrition space.

Nestle will acquire Zenpep from Allergan for an undisclosed sum, adding it to its growing line of nutritional therapies designed for specific medical conditions. Zenprep is a collection of pancreatic enzymes that is especially useful for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Since Nestle already markets nutritional therapies for CF and a wide range of other disorders, Zenprep should fit comfortably in its portfolio.  

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