AbbVie agreed to acquire Pharmacyclics and its flagship anticancer product, Imbruvica® (ibrutinib), for the treatment of hematologic malignancies. AbbVie will pay $261.25 per share composed of a mix of cash and AbbVie equity for a total of $21 billion.

AbbVie officials say the acquisition accelerates the company’s clinical and commercial presence in oncology, strengthening its pipeline and establishing its position in hematological oncology, which they label as an “attractive and rapidly growing market,” now approaching $24 billion globally.

“The acquisition of Pharmacyclics is a strategically compelling opportunity. The addition of Pharmacyclics' talented and innovative team will add enormous value to AbbVie,” noted Richard A. Gonzalez, chairman and CEO, AbbVie.

Imbruvica is a Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved for use in four indications to treat three different types of blood cancers including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma, and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia.  Imbruvica received FDA approval in 2013 and is the only therapy to have received three Breakthrough Therapy designations by the agency FDA.  It is currently approved in more than 40 countries.

Among AbbVie’s oncology drugs in development are ABT-RTA 408 (prevention of radiation dermatitis), Veliparib (brain metastasis and other cancers), ABT-199 (acute myelogenous leukemia and other hematologic malignancies), and Elotuzumab (multiple myeloma).

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