Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ASTX:US), the maker of an experimental leukemia therapy, jumped the most in 17 years after a report that Japanese drugmaker Otsuka Holdings Co. (4578) has decided to buy the biotechnology company for an estimated $900 million (90 billion yen).
Astex rose 29 percent to $8.59 at 1:44 p.m. New York time, giving the Dublin, California-based company a market value of $817 million. Astex earlier climbed as much as 41 percent, its largest intraday increase since 1996.
Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported today that Tokyo-based Otsuka will buy Astex to increase its stable of cancer drugs. Astex reported on Aug. 28 that its experimental treatment SGI-110 had positive results in a mid-stage clinical trial of myeloid leukemia patients.
Timothy Enns, a spokesman for Astex, didn’t immediately repond to an e-mail or answer a phone call seeking comment on the report.