Bristol-Myers to Buy Amira for $325M
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY), the maker of the blood thinner Plavix, said it would acquire Amira Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $325 million, adding experimental drugs to treat inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.
Bristol-Myers may pay an additional $150 million to closely held Amira if certain milestones are met, the New York-based company said today in a statement. San Diego-based Amira’s lead medicine, AM152, for a lung disease that robs patients of their ability to breathe, has completed one phase of the three trials generally required for U.S. regulatory approval, the companies said in the statement.
The deal is part of Bristol-Myers’s “string of pearls” strategy to buy companies or reach partnerships to expand its roster of experimental drugs, said Jennifer Fron Mauer, a Bristol-Myers spokeswoman. The acquisition of Amira is the fifth since 2007 when the strategy was put in place, she said. The largest deal was the $1.98 billion purchase of Medarex Inc. in 2009, according to Bloomberg data.
“This is our entrance into fibrotic diseases, an area of high unmet need,” Mauer said in an interview.
Bristol-Myers has said it plans to introduce five new drugs, including treatments for cancer, diabetes and heart disease, by 2012, as Plavix its top-selling medicine, loses patent protection next year.
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