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Allergan aims to widen migraine treatment with MAP Pharma buy

(Reuters) - U.S. specialty drugmaker Allergan Inc said late on Tuesday that it would buy MAP Pharmaceuticals Inc for about $958 million in cash, an acquisition intended to widen its presence in the treatment of adult migraines.

MAP Pharmaceuticals is developing Levadex, an orally inhaled drug for the acute treatment of migraines in adults. Levadex is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is set to make a decision about the drug around April 15.

Under the deal, Allergan will acquire 100 percent of the shares of MAP Pharmaceuticals at $25 per share, a 60 percent premium over MAP's closing stock price on the Nasdaq of $15.58 on Tuesday.

"We plan to capitalize on depth of expertise in neurology as we continue the global development of Levadex as a potential acute treatment for migraine," Allergen Chief Executive David Pyott said in a statement.

In the last few years, Allergan has received regulatory approvals in 56 countries for its drug Botox for use in the treatment of chronic migraine. Allergen now aims to position Levadex as a potential treatment for migraine that is complementary to Botox.

Botox, a popular wrinkle treatment, had also previously been approved for other non-cosmetic uses such severe underarm sweating and loss of bladder control due to nerve damage.

Allergan expects the MAP deal to dilute 2013 earnings by about 7 cents a share and add to its earnings by the second half of 2014.

The company expects to fund the deal with a combination of cash on hand, cash equivalents and short-term borrowings under its commercial paper program. The transaction is not subject to any financing contingency.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Miral Fahmy)

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