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BMS acquires ZymoGenetics

Bristol-Myers Squibb's hepatitis C, oncology and immunoscience portfolios will be strengthened with new purchase

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) is to strengthen its portfolio in hepatitis C, oncology and immunoscience with the purchase of ZymoGenetics for $9.75 per share in cash. The transaction, with an aggregate purchase price of approximately $885m (or about $735m net of cash acquired), has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

"The acquisition of ZymoGenetics brings us full ownership of a promising investigational biologic that strengthens our very diversified hepatitis C portfolio," said Lamberto Andreotti, CEO at BMS.

"In addition, ZymoGenetics brings proven capabilities with therapeutic proteins and revenue from a marketed speciality surgical biologic. This acquisition is another example of our strategic, targeted approach to business development."

Dr Douglas E Williams, CEO of ZymoGenetics, said: "By joining forces with Bristol-Myers Squibb, we believe we will enhance the long-term potential of ZymoGenetics' portfolio of assets, while providing a compelling valuation for our shareholders. Our collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb in the development of PEG-Interferon lambda has been extremely positive and it has given us an opportunity to fully appreciate their capabilities."

Through the transaction, BMS will gain full ownership of pegylated-interferon lambda, a novel interferon in phase IIb development for the treatment of hepatitis C infection, on which the companies have collaborated since January 2009.

It will also take Recothrom, a recombinant thrombin approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use as a topical hemostat to control non-arterial bleeding during surgical procedures, as well as the IL-21 protein, a cytokine currently being tested in an open-label, phase II clinical study as a potential immunotherapy treatment for metastatic melanoma. BMS will also gain an earlier-stage pipeline of six biologic drug candidates, including an anti-IL-31 antibody in pre-clinical development for atopic dermatitis.

Further, it is eligible for potential milestone and royalty payments from six partnered programmes in various stages of clinical development by EMD Serono, an affiliate of Merck, and Novo Nordisk.

BMS will commence a cash tender offer on or about September 9.

8th September 2010

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