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Japan's Otsuka to buy Astex Pharma for about $900 million: Nikkei

(Reuters) - Japanese drugmaker Otsuka Holdings Co will buy Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc for about 90 billion yen ($900 million) to tap the cancer drugs the U.S. company is developing, the Nikkei said. (http://link.reuters.com/hed82v)

Shares of Astex, which has a market capitalization of $634.2 million as of Tuesday close, rose as much as 41 percent to a nine-year high of $9.39 on the Nasdaq.

Astex, whose only approved drug, Dacogen, treats a blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndromes, is developing drugs to treat prostate, lung and ovarian cancer.

Otsuka and Astex were not immediately available for comments.

($1 = 99.5350 Japanese yen)

(Reporting By Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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