UPDATE: Gilead to Buy YM BioSciences for $2.95/Share in Cash
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) and YM BioSciences Inc. (NYSE: YMI, TSX: YM) announced today that the companies have signed a definitive agreement under which Gilead will acquire YM for U.S.$2.95 per share in cash. The transaction has received the unanimous approval of YM's Board of Directors, and values YM at approximately U.S.$510 million, with YM reporting C$125.5 million in cash and cash equivalents as of September 30, 2012. Gilead plans to fund the acquisition with cash on hand. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.
YM's lead drug candidate, CYT387, is an orally-administered, once-daily, selective inhibitor of the Janus kinase (JAK) family, specifically JAK1 and JAK2. The JAK enzymes have been implicated in a number of disorders including myeloproliferative diseases, inflammatory disorders and certain cancers. YM has reported positive results from a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of CYT387 in 166 patients with myelofibrosis, a life-threatening myeloproliferative disease. Pending completion of the acquisition, Gilead intends to initiate a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of CYT387 in myelofibrosis in the second half of 2013.
Myelofibrosis is a progressive, chronic bone marrow disorder in which the marrow is replaced by fibrous scar tissue, making it difficult for the bone marrow to sufficiently produce blood cells, leading to anemia (low red blood cell count) and thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count), severe constitutional symptoms and spleen enlargement. JAK inhibitors modulate cytokine-stimulated intracellular signalling and decrease the circulating levels of proinflammatory cytokines associated with the pathogenesis of myelofibrosis.
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