Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca has announced that it has agreed to acquired California-based biotechnology company Ardea Biosciences, whose lead product 'Lesinurad' (RDEA594) is currently in Phase III development as a potential treatment for the chronic management of hyperuricaemia in patients with gout.
"This attractive Phase III programme is an excellent opportunity to leverage AstraZeneca's global specialty and primary care sales and marketing capabilities," said David Brennan, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca.
Under the terms of the definitive merger agreement, Astra will pay $32 per Ardea shares, representing a total cash value of around $1.26bn, including existing cash. This is a 55% premium to Ardea's closing price on Friday April 20th.
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The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the terms of the agreement and the transaction is expected to complete in the second or third quarter of 2012, according to Astra's statement on Monday.
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