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January 11, 2023

Around the nation: AstraZeneca to acquire CinCor Pharma for $1.8B

Daily Briefing

    AstraZeneca on Monday announced plans to purchase CinCor Pharma for up to $1.8 billion, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Delaware, Maryland, and Washington.

    • Delaware: AstraZeneca on Monday announced plans to purchase CinCor Pharma, a biopharma company focused on hypertension and chronic kidney disease, for up to $1.8 billion. In the acquisition, AstraZeneca will pay $1.3 billion in cash—a 121% premium of $26 per share—and up to $500 million in contingent payments. CinCor went public early last year. According to Fierce Biotech, "CinCor traded above $30 throughout much of the fall of 2022, only to plummet precipitously in late November when the biotech shared phase 2 data on aldosterone synthase inhibitor baxdrostat in uncontrolled hypertension. The clinical trial missed its primary endpoint. And, while CinCor committed to moving into phase 3 in 2023, investors fled and dragged the company's share price down to around $12. The sharp shift in sentiment created an opportunity for AstraZeneca." (Primack, Axios, 1/9)
    • Maryland: Novavax on Monday announced that its CEO of over 11 years, Stanley Erck, will step down. John Jacobs, the former CEO of Harmony Biosciences, will replace Erck. Novavax's decision to recruit an external candidate, rather than promoting someone from the current executive team, underscores the company's push to move in a new direction. "Stan led Novavax from a clinical development organization to a global commercial vaccines company during a worldwide pandemic," said James Young, chairman of the board of directors at Novavax. "This foundation puts Novavax in a strong position to execute on its long-term strategy, and we look forward to supporting Stan and John through the transition. John is a seasoned industry leader who will bring a fresh perspective and deep industry expertise to Novavax." After Novavax announced Erck's departure at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, the company's shares rose nearly 16% in midday trading. (Herper, STAT, 1/9)
    • Washington: Seattle Public Schools (SPS) on Friday filed a lawsuit against several social media companies, including TikTok and Meta, claiming that their "misconduct has been a substantial factor in causing a youth mental health crisis." In the lawsuit, SPS said, "[t]his mental health crisis is no accident. It is the result of the Defendants' deliberate choices and affirmative actions to design and market their social media platforms to attract youth." The lawsuit claims that the defendants are in violation of the state's public nuisance law. The lawsuit also says that the "[d]efendants have successfully exploited the vulnerable brains of youth, hooking tens of millions of students across the country into positive feedback loops of excessive use and abuse of Defendants' social media platforms." (Doherty, Axios, 1/8)

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