If Pfizer’s AstraZeneca takeover succeeds, bad news for UK research

If bid accepted, it will damage R&D ecosystem, where AstraZeneca worked closely with universities and biotech firms

For a glimpse of what may lie ahead for AstraZeneca should Pfizer succeed in its takeover bid, look no further than the US pharmaceutical group’s recent history of major acquisitions.

A surge of takeovers began in 2000. That year Pfizer paid $ 112bn (£67bn) for the US company Warner-Lambert, and its hugely successful anti-cholesterol drug, Lipitor. Then followed the acquisition in 2003 of Pharmacia, a Swedish biotech. In 2009, Pfizer took over another US company, Wyeth, for its biotech drugs and vaccines.

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