Forest Labs wins U.S. antitrust approval to buy Furiex

WASHINGTON Fri May 30, 2014 11:14am EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Forest Laboratories Inc, which itself is in the process of being acquired, has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc, the Federal Trade Commission said on Friday.

Forest, in the process of being bought by Actavis Plc, had said on April 28 that it would buy Furiex for up to $1.46 billion, adding a promising treatment for irritable bowel syndrome to its gastrointestinal drugs portfolio.

The deal was on a list of approved transactions that the FTC releases several times a week.

Forest said it expected Furiex's lead drug, eluxadoline, to be "very complementary" to its own bowel drug, Linzess. Eluxadoline is being developed to treat diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome and was found to significantly alleviate symptoms of the disease in two large late-stage trials.

Shares in Forest Labs were up about 0.2 percent in late-morning U.S. trading, with Furiex up about 0.8 percent.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz, editing by Ros Krasny)

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