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Posted on Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

Ann Arbor biotech company AlphaCore acquired by multi-national pharmaceutical corporation AstraZeneca

By Ben Freed

Note: This article was corrected to reflect that AstraZeneca is based in Delaware, not Chicago.

The biologics division of Delaware-based multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca purchased Ann Arbor-based biotechnology company AlphaCore early Wednesday according to a press release from the company.

AlphaCore is developing a drug designed for the treatment of atherosclerosis, commonly referred to as a “hardening” of the arteries. The disease is believed to be caused by the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries and can be a contributing cause to heart disease.

“As the science in this area continues to evolve, we are committed to exploring unique pathways that could lead to new combination or standalone therapies for patients living with chronic and acute cardiovascular diseases,” Dr. Bahija Jallal, executive vice president of MedImmune, said.

"Cardiovascular disease is projected to remain the single leading cause of death worldwide over the next decade and beyond. Through novel approaches like LCAT, we hope to shift the treatment paradigms in this area to help prevent and treat these conditions."

LCAT is an enzyme in the bloodstream that AlphaCore hopes to harness to help manage cholesterol levels in patients.

MedImmune, the division of AstraZeneca that completed the purchase, is a major research and development arm of the corporation that has over 2,500 employees worldwide.

The price of the deal has not been disclosed, and AlphaCore could not be immediately reached for comment.

AlphaCore's’s president, William Brinkerhoff, was previously chief operating officer at Cerenis Theraputics when the company secured $51.7 million in venture capital in 2010. He also is a past vice president at Esperion Theraputics, which was acquired by Pfizer in 2004 for $1.3 billion.

AlphaCore has seven team members listed on its website. It is unclear whether that team will remain in Ann Arbor following the acquisition.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Ben Freed

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

Someone from AlphaCore just called to let me know that the company's 7 employees plan to stay in Ann Arbor for the foreseeable future.

Kai Petainen

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 1:43 a.m.

How much does SPARK make on this deal?

An Arborigine

Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

Are they located in Ann Arbor's "Big Pharma Boulevard"?