A report out of London on Sunday put pharma company AstraZeneca in the cross hairs of an acquisition bid by Pfizer. Both companies have big footprints in the Philadelphia area.

Neither AstraZeneca nor Pfizer are commenting on the report, and other reports say no plans are currently in the works.

But the roughly $100 billion takeover bid of AstraZeneca by Pfizer sent a round of jitters across the pharma industry.

George Chressanthis is a professor of health care management and marketing at the Fox School of Business at Temple University.

"Clearly AstraZeneca has major operations in the Philadelphia area, with their U.S. headquarters in Wilmington, and my guess is that many of those positions would probably be eliminated," he said.

Chressanthis, who formerly worked for AstraZeneca but no longer has a financial stake in the company, says Pfizer is probably eyeing some early-stage cancer treatments being developed by AstraZeneca.

By acquiring the British-based company, the American Pfizer would also realize some tax benefits.

"Will it happen? Who knows. Will someone else come in? That remains to be seen," Chressanthis said. "But this is certainly an industry that's going through a lot of challenges. There are lots of opportunities out there, but there is also a lot of uncertainties."

Rumors of a possible acquisition put all three of those things on display, he added.

AstraZeneca will have to answer to investors at its annual general meeting later this week.


Disclosure: AstraZeneca supports WHYY.