AstraZeneca has received the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) clearance for its proposed acquisition of US-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

The US FTC review comes after the completion of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

The UK drugmaker has secured the competition clearances in Canada, Brazil, Russia and other countries, with additional global regulatory approval pending in the UK, EU and Japan.

AstraZeneca executive director and CFO Marc Dunoyer said: “These clearances further advance us towards closing our acquisition of Alexion.

“We remain focused on the next chapter for AstraZeneca and Alexion, building on our combined expertise in immunology and precision medicines and our shared ambition to bring more innovative medicines to patients worldwide.”

AstraZeneca has initially announced the acquisition of the US-based pharmaceutical firm for a total consideration of $39bn in December last year.

Alexion is engaged in developing treatments for a wide spectrum of immune-mediated rare diseases, caused due to uncontrolled activation of the complement system of the immunity.

With the acquisition, AstraZeneca aims to enhance its footprint in immunology through Alexion’s innovative complement-technology platforms and a strong pipeline.

The transaction is anticipated to close in the third quarter of 2021, subject to additional global regulatory and shareholders approvals.

Upon closing, Alexion will operate as a dedicated business unit of AstraZeneca based in Boston, US, and will be renamed as ‘Alexion, The AstraZeneca Rare Disease Unit’.

With the new business unit, AstraZeneca will have an enhanced global presence and broad coverage across primary, speciality and highly specialised care.