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Gilead to buy cancer drugmaker Immunomedics for US$21b

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Gilead Sciences will acquire biopharmaceutical company Immunomedics for US$21 billion, a move that will strengthen its cancer portfolio by gaining access to a promising drug, the two companies said in a joint statement on Sunday.

[BENGALURU] Gilead Sciences will acquire biopharmaceutical company Immunomedics for US$21 billion, a move that will strengthen its cancer portfolio by gaining access to a promising drug, the two companies said in a joint statement on Sunday.

The deal provides Gilead access to Immunomedics' breast cancer treatment drug, Trodelvy, which was granted an accelerated FDA approval in April.

Gilead said it would issue a tender offer to buy all the outstanding shares of Immunomedics for US$88 per share, representing a premium of about 108 per cent over their last closing price of US$42.25 on Sept 11.

"This acquisition represents significant progress in Gilead's work to build a strong and diverse oncology portfolio," Gilead chief executive officer Daniel O'Day said in a statement.

"Trodelvy is an approved, transformational medicine for a form of cancer that is particularly challenging to treat. We will now continue to explore its potential to treat many other types of cancer," Immunomedics is also on track to file for regulatory approval for Trodelvy in Europe in the first half of 2021, according to the statement.

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The offer will be funded with US$15 billion in cash on hand, and through US$6 billion in newly issued debt, according to the drugmaker.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, the companies said.

The acquisition of Immunomedics is the latest of the several Gilead inked this year with the aim of expanding its oncology portfolio.

It bought a 49.9 per cent stake in cancer drug developer Pionyr Immunotherapeutics in June for US$275 million, just months after paying US$4.9 billion for Forty Seven, maker of an experimental treatment that targets blood cancer.

REUTERS

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