Big pharma, M&A, Pharma

Otsuka M&A deals Astex in $886 million acquisition

Posted on 05 September 2013

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Japanese drugmaker Otsuka Holdings has entered M&A deals to buy Astex Pharmaceuticals for about $886 million.

The big pharma company aims to tap cancer drugs under development by the U.S. biotechnology company with the M&A deals.

The M&A deals come as Otsuka seeks to increase revenue streams as patents for its mainstay Abilify schizophrenia treatment will begin to expire.

Cancer is attracting increased investment from biotech and pharmaceutical companies as a series of breakthroughs in understanding the genetic basis of the disease fuels a run of promising new medicines.

Astex, whose only approved drug, Dacogen, treats a blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndromes, is developing drugs to treat leukemia, prostate, lung and ovarian cancer.

The biotech company said last month that SGI-110, an experimental drug for acute myeloid leukemia, produced positive results in a Phase II mid-stage clinical trial.

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