CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Biotechnology company Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. is acquiring South San Francisco, Calif.-based COR Therapeutics Inc. for $2 billion in stock, the company announced Thursday.
Millennium’s takeover of COR Therapeutics, which specializes in cardiovascular drugs, is the company’s fourth in five years. The deal gives Millennium the heart drug Integrilin, the leading anti-platelet drug, which prevents platelets from blocking arteries.
The Cambridge-based Millennium said it will pay $35 a share for COR, a 77 percent premium of the stock’s closing price Wednesday.
COR shares jumped $9.85, or 49 percent, to $29.39 in trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market Thursday. Millennium shares were down $4.67, or 13 percent, at $30.78.
The acquisition of COR, which has about 320 employees, creates a 1,800- employee company with a research and development staff of 1,200.
Millennium chief executive officer Mark Levin said size is important in the biopharmaceutical industry, where it costs about $800 million to bring a drug to market, according to recent studies.
“It’s not big to be big,” Levin said. “It’s big to be better.”
Millennium’s specialty is genomics, which involves the use of genes and proteins in drug development. Its focus is drugs for cancer, obesity and inflammation.
“We’ve been looking at each other across the ballroom and we finally started to dance, and then got married,” said COR CEO Vaughn Kailian.
Kailian said Millennium’s genomics research, specialized medicine and oncology drugs would complement COR’s activities.
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