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(Bloomberg) -- Sosei Group Corp. rose as much as 9.4 percent after the Japanese biotechnology company agreed to pay up to $400 million to acquire closely held Heptares Therapeutics Ltd. to further expand globally.
The stock traded 8.5 percent higher at 4,100 yen as of 9:18 a.m. in Tokyo, headed for the largest gain since September. The Japanese company will pay $180 million upfront and as much as $220 million in milestone and other payments, it said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Saturday.
The acquisition brings additional candidate drugs to Sosei, whose revenue is largely made up of royalties from Novartis AG for sales of lung drugs it developed. Heptares, based in Hertfordshire, England, has an experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease in early-stage clinical testing, as well as other compounds for psychosis, migraines, diabetes and attention- deficit hyperactivity disorder. Heptares has partnerships with AstraZeneca Plc, Novartis AG, Merck & Co. and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.
“Sosei has a vision and ambition to become a global biopharmaceutical company originating from Japan,” Peter Bains, an external director on Sosei’s board, said in a phone interview. In its search for growth opportunities, “Heptares was identified as the outstanding prospect, based on the differentiated platform technology, the strong and emerging pipeline and the list of alliances with marquee global pharma companies.”
--With assistance from Allison Connolly in London.
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