June 8, 2020 / 7:07 AM / 2 months ago

AstraZeneca shares down 2% after report it approached Gilead over tie-up

June 8 (Reuters) - Shares in Britain’s AstraZeneca opened 2% lower on Monday after a report it had approached U.S. rival Gilead Sciences about a possible merger to form one the world’s largest drug companies.

Such a deal would unite two of the drugmakers at the forefront of the industry’s efforts to fight the new coronavirus, and could be politically sensitive as governments seek control over potential vaccines or treatments.

AstraZeneca contacted Gilead last month, but its U.S. rival was not interested in combining with another big pharmaceuticals company, the Bloomberg report bloom.bg/3h2GU9e said. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Keith Weir; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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