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Gilead to buy drug developer Forty Seven for about US$4.9b

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Gilead Sciences said on Monday it would buy Forty Seven Inc for US$4.9 billion in cash, as it looks to bolster its cancer drug pipeline.

[BENGALURU] Gilead Sciences said on Monday it would buy Forty Seven Inc for US$4.9 billion in cash, as it looks to bolster its cancer drug pipeline.

The deal, which gives Gilead access to an experimental cancer therapy being tested in early stage trials, is one of the largest deals for Gilead after it closed its near US$12 billion acquisition for cancer drugmaker Kite Pharma in 2017.

Gilead will pay US$95.50 for each share of Forty Seven, representing a premium of 64.7 per cent to the stock's Friday closing price.

Forty Seven's lead drug is magrolimab, which is being tested as a treatment for several cancers, primarily affecting the blood.

"Magrolimab complements our existing work in hematology, adding a non-cell therapy programme that complements Kite's pipeline of cell therapies for hematological cancers," Gilead Chief Executive Officer Daniel O'Day said.

The drug targets CD47, a signal that lets cancer cells avoid destruction.

Shares of Forty Seven were trading higher at US$93.33 before the opening bell, while Gilead shares were up 1.4 per cent. 

REUTERS