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AstraZeneca to buy oncology-focused Spirogen for up to £275 million

LONDON (Reuters) - British drugmaker AstraZeneca (LSE:AZN) said on Tuesday its MedImmune unit would buy biotech company Spirogen for up to $440 million (275 million pounds) to bolster its oncology portfolio.

Privately held Spirogen focuses on antibody-drug conjugate technology, which has the potential to directly target cancer tumours while safeguarding healthy cells, AstraZeneca said.

AstraZeneca said it would pay an initial $200 million plus a further $240 million if Spirogen meets development targets. It will also pay $20 million to take an equity investment in ADC Therapeutics, which has a licensing agreement with Spirogen.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)