AstraZeneca buys heart drug firm Omthera for up to $443 million


AstraZeneca has agreed to buy Omthera Pharmaceuticals for up to $443 million to build up its cardiovascular drug business, which Britain's second biggest drugmaker has previously identified as a priority area.

AstraZeneca said on Tuesday it had entered into a definitive agreement to buy Omthera for $12.70 per share, or approximately $323 million, a premium of 88 percent on Omthera's closing price on Friday.

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In addition, Omthera shareholders will get contingent value rights (CVRs) of up to approximately $4.70 per share, or $120 million in total, depending on the success of Omthera's experimental drug Epanova for treating patients with very high triglycerides, a type of blood fat that is bad for the heart.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler)