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Lexington's Shire to Sell Oncology Business for $2.4 Billion

Shire PLC has inked a $2.4 billion deal to sell its cancer unit to France's Servier SAS, confirms the Boston Globe (April 16, Serafino), "tightening the U.S.-based drugmaker's focus on rare diseases and potentially making it more attractive to Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. as it considers a bid." The Shire unit sells Oncaspar, which is used in the treatment of a form of leukemia. Its other major pharmaceutical is Onivyde for pancreatic cancer. The drugmaker's board of directors will next consider using proceeds for a stock buyback after Takeda decides whether to proceed with its contemplated offer. "A deal for Shire could be valued at as much as $50 billion, which would make it one of the biggest takeovers by a Japanese firm of an overseas company and far exceed Takeda's own market value of about $37 billion," notes the Globe.

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