Japan's Otsuka says to buy Astex Pharma for almost $900 mln
Sept 5 (Reuters) - Japanese drugmaker Otsuka Holdings Co said on Thursday that it had agreed to buy Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc for close to $900 million to tap cancer drugs under development by the U.S. company.
Otsuka said in a statement through the Tokyo Stock Exchange that it would launch a tender offer beginning within the next 10 days that would run for 20 days. The company has set aside $886 million to cover the purchase of Astex at $8.50 a share.
Shares of Astex, which had a market capitalisation of $634.2 million as of Tuesday's close, rose as much as 41 percent to a nine-year high of $9.39 on the Nasdaq. The purchase was reported earlier by Japanese business daily the Nikkei.
Astex, whose only approved drug, Dacogen, treats a blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndromes, is developing drugs to treat prostate, lung and ovarian cancer.
Otsuka shares fell 1 percent in Tokyo on Thursday, compared with a flat benchmark Nikkei average.
(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Chris Gallagher)