March 26, 2019 / 12:32 PM / 7 months ago

FTC seeks more information to review Bristol-Celgene's $74 bln planned merger

March 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has sought additional information and documents from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Celgene Corp in connection with its review of their planned merger, Bristol-Myers said on Tuesday.

"The parties understand that the FTC's review is focused on marketed and pipeline products for the treatment of psoriasis," Bristol-Myers said here in a filing.

Celgene’s psoriasis drug Otezla brought $448 million in sales in the quarter ended Dec. 31. Bristol-Myers is also developing a treatment for the condition and in September reported positive results from a mid-stage trial of its plaque psoriasis drug.

Some Bristol-Myers investors are against the planned $74 billion takeover of Celgene, as they see potential risk associated with Celgene’s pipeline, and expect a drop in sales of its flagship multiple myeloma drug, Revlimid, when it loses U.S. exclusivity in 2022.

However, the cancer drugmaker maintains that the Celgene acquisition would provide “significant advantages” with fewer risks compared to options like pursuing a series of small transactions.

Bristol-Myers said both companies expect to close the merger in the third quarter of 2019. (Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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