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Bristol-Myers to buy cancer drug company Celgene for $74B

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Bristol-Myers to buy cancer drug company Celgene for $74B
Bristol-Myers Squibb announced it will purchase Celgene for $74 billion. File Photo by iminwon/Shutterstock

Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Bristol-Myers Squibb announced Thursday it will buy the cancer drug company Celgene for $74 billion, a deal that sent Celgene's shares surging in pre-market trading.

The transaction positions Bristol-Myers Squibb as a leader in treating cancer, immunology and inflammation with six near-term product launches coming soon, the company announced.

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Celgene produces oncology drugs such as Opdivo, Yervoy, Revlimid and Pomalyst. It also makes drugs that treat inflammation such as Orencia and Otezla and the cardiovascular drug Eliquis.

"Together with Celgene, we are creating an innovative biopharma leader, with leading franchises and a deep and broad pipeline that will drive sustainable growth and deliver new options for patients across a range of serious diseases," said Bristol-Myers Squibb Chairman and CEO Giovanni Caforio.

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Celgene shareholders will get one share of Bristol-Myers Squibb and $50 cash for each share held for a total of $102.43 per share based on the closing price on Wednesday2. Shares of Celgene were up 33 percent trading near $89 a share. Bristol-Myers Squibb fell 13 percent in pre-market trading.

Employees at Celgene, which has been around for more than 30 years, will join Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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"Our employees should be incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together and excited for the opportunities ahead of us as we join with Bristol-Myers Squibb, where we can further advance our mission for our patients," said Celgene Chairman and CEO Mark Alles.

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New immunology and inflammation drugs that are in the works could represent more than $15 billion in potential revenue.

This comes after Celgene purchased the remainder of Juno Therapeutics for $9 billion last year. That company is working on CAR T-cell therapy that takes a cancer patient's own immune cells and manipulates them into targeting cancer cells.

The two companies started talks in September.

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