May 5, 2020 / 11:43 AM / a month ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Alexion to buy Portola Pharmaceuticals in $1.41 bln deal

(Corrects paragraph 5 to say Alexion agreed to buy Achillion last year, instead of “Andexxa bought Achillion”)

May 5 (Reuters) - Drugmaker Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc on Tuesday agreed to buy Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc in a deal that values its smaller rival at $1.41 billion to gain access to a treatment for reversing the effects of blood thinners.

Alexion will pay $18 per Portola share in cash, a premium of 132% to Portola’s last closing price, the companies said. Portola’s shares have fallen 68% in 2020 through Monday’s close.

The treatment, Andexxa, was approved in the United States in 2018 and had brought in sales of $111.5 million in 2019.

Alexion, which has been fighting to maintain its leadership in treating certain rare blood disorders, has embarked on a string of acquisitions to boost its pipeline of rare disease drugs.

Last year, Alexion agreed to buy Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc for $930 million to gain access to its rare blood disorder experimental treatments. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Amy Caren Daniel)

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