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Eisai signs $3.9bn biotech deal

Published on 14/12/07 at 01:58pm

Japanese pharma company Eisai has acquired Minnesota-based biotech MGI Pharma for $3.9 billion, significantly boosting its oncology business.

It is Eisai's second US biotech acquisition this year, but dwarfs the $325 million deal it signed with Pennsylvania-based Morphotek in March.

Both biotech companies specialise in cancer, and MGI Pharma's five US-marketed products include Gliadel, the world's first locally administered chemotherapy drug for high-grade gliomas, a form of brain cancer.

Eisais chief executive Haruo Naito said: "Eisai has enormous respect for MGI Pharma's products, pipeline and people, and we look forward to working with their highly skilled team to address the unmet medical needs of patients throughout the world."

"Strategically, we expect this transaction to allow Eisai to significantly strengthen its oncology business and increase the likelihood of achieving our current strategic plan targets and our future revenue and earnings growth."

The acquisition is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2008, after which MGI Pharma will become a wholly-owned subsidiary within Eisai's US business.

The company is in the process of adding to these operations with the construction of a new oncology facility for manufacturing and formulation R&D at its North Carolina site.

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