Otsuka acquires Astex for $866m


Otsuka Pharmaceutical has agreed to acquire Astex Pharmaceuticals for approximately US $866 million in order to strengthen its cancer portfolio. Both Boards of Directors have unanimously approved a transaction under which Otsuka will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Astex for $8.50 per share in cash.

The acquisition provides the Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company with Astex's world-class drug discovery platform, Pyramid, as well as a pipeline of products for neuroscience, cardiovascular and oncology indications. Astex also has five partner-funded programs that are being developed by Novartis, AstraZeneca, Janssen and through a clinical development partnership with Cancer Research UK.

"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. 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."
James S.J. Manuso, PhD, chairman and chief executive officer of Astex Pharmaceuticals.
"I hope that 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. Astex's unique fragment-based drug discovery technology and clinical oncology research and development capabilities, born out of the passion of its researchers, exemplify our corporate mottos and belief in "Sozosei (Creativity) and Jissho (Proof through Execution). I would like Otsuka Pharmaceutical to continue to respect Astex's uniqueness and leverage it to bring further growth for Otsuka Pharmaceutical."

Dr. Taro Iwamoto, Otsuka Pharmaceutical's President and Representative Director.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.


Related news:

Japan's Otsuka to buy cancer drug maker Astex Pharma (Reuters)

Japan's Otsuka to Buy U.S. Cancer Drug Maker Astex for $886 Million (Wall Street Journal)

Reference links:

Astex press release

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5 September, 2013