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GSK buys Genelabs for $57 million

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

GlaxoSmithKline is to buy Genelabs Technologies for $57 million to strengthen its hepatitis C virus portfolio. A GSK subsidiary will begin a tender offer of $1.30 per share in cash to acquire all the outstanding shares of Genelabs' common stock. Genelabs' board of directors has unanimously recommended that shareholders tender their shares in the offer, which is expected to close in December. Genelabs and its programmes will become part of GSK's drug discovery organisation. GSK says that there is a need for new hepatitis C drugs because the current gold standard therapy, pegylated-alpha interferon plus ribavirin, has a relatively low efficacy rate (around 50%) and both drugs are associated with significant side-effects. Genelabs has a number of nucleoside and non-nucleoside-based virus inhibitor products in early-stage development for hepatitis C. GSK's thrombopoietin agonist Promacta/Revolade (eltrombopag) is in Phase III trials for hepatitis C-associated thrombocytopenia (Scrip Online, November 8th, 2008).

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