Jazz Pharmaceuticals to Buy Celator, as Demand for Cancer Researchers Picks up

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Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc agreed to buy Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: CPXX) for about $1.5 billion to gain an experimental medicine for a rare blood cancer.

Jazz, based in Dublin, offered $30.25 per share in cash for Ewing, New Jersey-based Celator, the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday. Celator’s board endorsed the transaction. Investors with 18.4 percent of Celator’s stock, including managers and board members, agreed to tender their shares.

Cancer researchers have been receiving buyer interest in the mid-market.  Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) has agreed to buy Nimbus Apollo Inc. and Roche Holding AG (VTX: ROG) has plans to purchase Tensha Therapeutics.

Celator’s shares surged 72 percent to $30.10 in trading before the market opened in New York, suggesting investors believe the deal will be completed.

The deal gives Jazz the experimental cancer treatment Vyxeos, which has won orphan-drug status from regulators in the U.S. and Europe, giving the company a period of market exclusivity because it targets a rare cancer known as acute myeloid leukemia. Jazz is working to diversify away from its top seller Xyrem, a narcolepsy medicine that accounts for almost 75 percent of revenue and faces patent challenges, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.


-- Additional Reporting by Mergers & Acqusitions' Demitri Diakantonis

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