Otsuka Pharmaceutical to purchase Astex


Will pay around US$866m to strengthen cancer drug and central nervous system portfolios

Japanese drugmaker Otsuka Pharmaceutical is to buy Astex Pharmaceuticals for US$866m to strengthen its cancer drug portfolio as well as its drug discovery research in the central nervous system field.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, Otsuka will offer $8.50 in cash for each Astex share.

The acquisition will bring Astex\'s Pyramid fragment-based discovery technology to Otsuka, which the firm says \'holds significant promise to bring new therapies more quickly to patients and doctors\'.

Astex is a bio-venture company established in 1991, with a fragment-based drug discovery research centre in Cambridge, UK and a clinical research and development function in California, US.

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Fragment-based discovery technology enables more rapid discovery and development of compounds for target proteins implicated in diseases than previously possible with high-throughout screening.