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Japan/US: Astellas to buy Audentes for $3B

 |  December 3, 2019

Japan’s Astellas Pharma is buying US drugmaker Audentes Therapeutics for about US$3 billion in cash, in a high-priced push to make genetic medicine a key area of growth.

According to Reuters, gene therapies are one of the hottest areas of drug research and Astellas, Japan’s second-largest drugmaker by sales, is offering US$60 per share for San Francisco-based Audentes, a 110% premium to its closing price on Monday, December 2. 

Citi analyst Hidemaru Yamaguchi said that while the deal looked expensive, it was a positive move for Astellas as Audentes had “cutting-edge gene therapy modalities.” 

“We thought it was only a matter of time before Astellas entered the gene therapy market,” he wrote in a note for clients, adding it had already licensed development rights for a domestic gene therapy in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Full Content: Reuters

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