AstraZeneca shares drop after Pfizer withdraws takeover bid

<p>A planned takeover of AstraZeneca by Pfizer has been scrapped.</p>

The share price of British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has fallen heavily this morning (May 27th) after rival firm Pfizer announced it is withdrawing its takeover bid.

The AstraZeneca board was reluctant to do a deal with its rival and Pfizer stated that it will not be pursuing another offer for the company.

AstraZeneca's chairman, Leif Johansson, stated that his firm is going to "continue building on the momentum we have already demonstrated as an independent company."

"We have attractive growth prospects and a rapidly progressing pipeline," he said, adding the company is expecting "positive news flow across our core therapeutic areas" in the coming months.

However, investors responded negatively to the news of the takeover bid dying and shares in AstraZeneca were 1.76 per cent down at 10:04 BST this morning.

Stocks in the pharmaceutical company initially rose by more than ten per cent when news of Pfizer's interest in a takeover of the firm first leaked.

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