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Business Briefing / Drugs

Bristol-Myers to buy Medarex

July 24, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said it agreed to buy Medarex Inc. for about $2.4 billion as a way to double its pipeline of experimental biological drugs, including one nearing U.S. approval for skin cancer.

The New York-based firm is acquiring companies and forming partnerships to find products to offset losses from Plavix, its top seller, when the cholesterol drug faces generic competition beginning in 2012.

The deal gives Bristol-Myers full ownership of skin cancer drug ipilimumab, which it had been developing with Princeton, N.J.-based Medarex.

Ipilimumab, an experimental drug for metastatic melanoma, is in the third and final stage of testing typically required for Food and Drug Administration approval. The drug is also being studied in lung and prostate cancers.

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