Bayer close to bagging cancer drug maker Algeta for $2.9-bn

German healthcare major Bayer AG today said that it is close to completing its $2.9-billion acquisition of Algeta, after 92.17 per cent shareholders of the Norwegian cancer drug maker tendered their shares to the offer.

Bayer close to bagging cancer drug maker Algeta for $2.9-bnAs of 24 February, Bayer, which does not own a stake in Algeta, had received acceptances representing around 92.17 per cent of Algeta's share capital. The closing conditions stipulate that at least 90 per cent of Algeta's stock must be tendered to Bayer.

''The acceptance level is based on preliminary numbers and may be subject to adjustments,'' Bayer said in a statement.

The Leverkusen-based drugmaker is now extending the offer period by two days to 26 February.

In December 2013, Algeta accepted Bayer's sweetened cash offer of 362 Norwegian kroner, or about $59.13 a share, a 37-per cent premium to Algeta's closing price on 25 November, the day before Bayer tabled its initial offer. (See: Bayer to acquire cancer drug maker Algeta)

The acquisition of Oslo-based Algeta would mean Bayer would not need to share earnings or pay royalties on the radiopharmaceutical radium dichloride-223 drug, called Xofigo, for late-stage prostate-cancer.

Bayer and Algeta are partners in the sale of the prostate cancer drug Xofigo, which the US Food and Drug Administration approved for use in May 2013.

The deal would also give Bayer access to Algeta's newer, targeted-radiation therapies that are currently in the pipeline.

Beyond Xofigo, the Norwegian biotechnology company has been working on a technology called thorium-227, which would make possible the linking of alpha-particle radiation therapy with a monoclonal antibody.

The antibody would in effect give the radiation treatment a piggyback ride into the center of a cancer cell, in order to attack cancer with fewer side effects.