May 30, 2014 / 3:05 PM / in 4 years

UPDATE 1-Forest Labs wins U.S. antitrust approval to buy Furiex

(Adds share prices, background on transaction)

WASHINGTON, May 30 (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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