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AstraZeneca to acquire Icosavax

Iskra Reic

AstraZeneca has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Icosavax, a US-based clinical-stage biopharma company focused on developing vaccines using a protein virus-like particle (VLP) platform.

The proposed acquisition will build on AstraZeneca’s expertise in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), strengthening AstraZeneca’s Vaccines & Immune Therapies late-stage pipeline with Icosavax’s lead investigational vaccine candidate, IVX-A12, the company states.


IVX-A12 is a potential first-in- class, Phase III-ready, combination protein VLP vaccine which targets both RSV and human metapneumovirus (hMPV). There are currently no treatments or preventative therapies for hMPV and no combination vaccines for RSV.

IVX-A12 is the most advanced investigational vaccine targeting both RSV and hMPV and has a differentiated profile versus currently approved RSV vaccines, states AstraZeneca. Phase II data demonstrate that IVX-A12 elicits robust immune responses against both RSV and hMPV one month after vaccination and reconfirm previous immunogenicity data seen in the Phase I trial.

Alongside Icosavax’s technology and leadership in protein design, the acquisition is expected to also bring their expertise and capabilities in protein virus-like particle science and development to AstraZeneca to support the progression of IVX-A12 and other differentiated VLP vaccines for high-burden respiratory infections.

“This virus-like particle vaccine technology has the potential to transform prevention against severe infectious diseases, including RSV and hMPV. With the addition of Icosavax’s Phase III-ready lead asset to our late-stage pipeline, we will have a differentiated, advanced investigational vaccine, and a platform for further development of combination vaccines against respiratory viruses. This aligns with our strategy to deliver a portfolio of therapies to address high unmet needs in infectious diseases, and our ambition to protect the most vulnerable patients who have high risk of severe outcomes,” says Iskra Reic, Executive Vice President, Vaccines & Immune Therapies, AstraZeneca.

A transaction value of approximately USD 1.1 billion

Combined, the upfront and maximum potential contingent value payments represent, if achieved, a transaction value of approximately USD 1.1 billion, a 91% premium to Icosavax’s closing market price on 11th December 2023 and a 130% premium to the 60-day VWAP. As part of the transaction, AstraZeneca will acquire the cash and marketable securities on Icosavax’s balance sheet, which totaled USD 229 million as of 30th September 2023.

Photo of Iskra Reic: AstraZeneca