Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. plans to buy Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a deal valued at $886 million.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Astex Pharmaceuticals, acquisition, pharmaceutical companies, oncology, Taro Iwamoto, James Manuso

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Otsuka to acquire Astex Pharmaceuticals

September 5th, 2013

TOKYO and DUBLIN, Calif. – Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. plans to buy Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a deal valued at $886 million.

The pharmaceutical companies said Thursday that under the transaction, Otsuka will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Astex for $8.50 per share in cash, representing a 48% premium to the average closing stock price for the prior 30-day period.

Otsuka plans to effect the transaction through a tender offer and said it expects to finalize the deal early in the fourth quarter of 2013, pending customary closing conditions.

The Otsuka and Astex boards of have unanimously approved the acquisition deal, the companies said.

Astex specializes in the discovery and development of novel small-molecule therapeutics, with a particular focus on oncology. The company has built a myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) franchise with Dacogen (decitabine) for injection. Dacogen was also recently approved in Europe for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in patients over 65 years of age.

"This acquisition of Astex will strengthen not only our cancer portfolio but also our drug discovery research in the central nervous system field, through the acquisition of Astex's fragment-based drug design technology at its Cambridge, England, research headquarters and its California clinical oncology R&D department," stated Taro Iwamoto, Otsuka's president and representative director.

Otsuka noted that the acquisition of Astex will add to its existing discovery capabilities and pipeline of therapeutic products for neuroscience, cardiovascular and oncology indications. The deal also will provide Otsuka with Astex's Pyramid drug discovery platform.

Otsuka's approved products in the United States include Abilify (aripiprazole), Samsca (tolvaptan) and IV Bulsulfex (bulsufan).

"We believe that Otsuka's financial resources and development expertise will enhance Astex's ability to build further its oncology portfolio, pipeline and discovery prowess," commented James Manuso, chairman and chief executive officer of Astex. "This transaction recognizes the meaningful assets our employees have created. Most importantly, however, patients will benefit substantially from the larger drug discovery, development and commercialization platform a combined Otsuka and Astex will deliver."