The largest drugmaker in the United States, AstraZeneca, has announced plans to sell all of its assets and to sell its U.S. pharmaceutical division.
The company, which reported net income of $3.8 billion for the year ended Sept. 30, announced the decision in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The move was expected, but not necessarily necessary.
The news was first reported by Bloomberg News.
The sale of the company, Astraza, is the first major consolidation since AstraZnac was acquired by Pfizer in 2008.
It also marks the end of Astra Znac’s long reign as the leader of the U.N. drug industry.
Astra was the only pharmaceutical company to be acquired by the U,S.
The deal was led by Astra’s CEO, Dr. Martin Shkreli, a prominent opponent of President Donald Trump.
In a statement, Shkrelli said the merger “opens up a great opportunity for both companies and all our employees.”
The company, founded in 1898, is based in a former steel mill in St. Louis.
It makes generic versions of medicines for diseases ranging from blood disorders to arthritis and is a leader in the development of the drug Tylenol for asthma.
Astrazena’s shares have been on a tear in recent months.
They were up more than 20% in the second quarter and more than 30% over the past two months.
Shkrelis remarks also mark the end for the company’s longtime CEO, Joseph DiCristina, who was named CEO in June.
He said he was looking forward to working with his former company’s leadership team and to returning to work at a time when there are “a lot of opportunities.”