UPDATE 1-Bristol Myers Squibb to buy Amira Pharma for $325 mln

Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:20pm EDT

* Says could get potential milestone payments of $150 mln

* Says to secure Amira's fibrosis and autotaxin programs

July 21 (Reuters) - Biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY.N) said it would buy privately held Amira Pharmaceuticals for $325 million in cash to expand its drug offerings to patients with fibrotic diseases.

Under the deal, Bristol-Myers will secure Amira's fibrosis program and autotaxin program, the company said.

Bristol-Myers also said it could potentially secure $150 million in milestone payments.

Amira Pharmaceuticals is a small-molecule pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and early development of new drugs to treat inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.

Bristol-Myers Squibb was represented by Covington & Burling LLP, while Amira Pharmaceuticals' financial advisor for the transaction was J.P. Morgan Securities LLC.

In December last year Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD.O) said it would buy privately held biotechnology firm Arresto Biosciences for $225 million to expand its fibrotic diseases pipeline. [ID:nSGE6BJ0B0]

Bristol-Myers shares closed at $29.56 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Divya Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Gary Hill) (divya.sharma@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging: divya.sharma.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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