Celgene to acquire Avila Therapeutics

Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:09am EST

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(Reuters) - Celgene Corp (CELG.O) said on Thursday that it would acquire Avila Therapeutics Inc, a privately held biotechnology company, for $350 million in cash.

Celgene will pay up to $195 million more in milestone payments contingent on the development and regulatory approval of AVL-292, Avila's experimental blood cancer therapy.

Celgene will pay up to an additional $380 million in potential milestones contingent on the development and approval of drug candidates developed from Avila's technology platform.

The company expects to complete the transaction in the first quarter and sees the deal as neutral to its 2012 earnings forecasts.

Avila develops drugs that treat diseases through silencing certain proteins.

(Reporting By Toni Clarke in Boston)

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