Companies in contact

AstraZeneca and Gilead dampen merger talks

Tests are under way on a Covid-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca approached rival drugmaker Gilead Sciences about a potential merger, according to sources in the US.

A tie-up between the UK and US based companies would be the biggest healthcare deal on record, valued at about £216bn, Bloomberg News reported.

The two companies have been working on possible vaccines for the coronavirus.

Sources have told Bloomberg that AstraZeneca contacted Gilead last month about joining forces. AstraZeneca has not specified terms for any transaction.

However, it is thought the two companies got no further than exploratory discussions about a potential deal. Industry sources said the two companies are not in formal talks.

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