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Gilead Sciences to acquire YM BioSciences for $510-million

Gilead Sciences Inc.'s Truvada pill, used to treat people with HIV.

Paul Sakuma/AP

Shares in YM BioSciences Inc. surged more than 70 per cent after California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. announced an agreement to buy the Canadian company for about $510-million (U.S.).

Shares rose $1.17 to $2.83 on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Wednesday afternoon trading for the Mississauga-based drug development company.

The definitive agreement signed by the companies will see Gilead acquire YM for $2.95 per share in cash.

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YM chief executive officer Nick Glover said Gilead Sciences has the research and development capabilities to more fully realize the potential of its lead drug, CYT387.

"This agreement represents a positive outcome both for myelofibrosis patients and for our shareholders," Mr. Glover said in a news release.

The drug is used for myelofibrosis, a progressive, chronic bone marrow disorder.

"Gilead has the research and development capabilities and the resources needed to more fully realize the potential of CYT387 as a therapeutic advance for myelofibrosis patients and potentially for other indications."

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

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