Gilead completes tender offer for hepatitis C drugmaker Pharmasset

Gilead Sciences reported Thursday that the company completed its tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Pharmasset for $137 per share. The drugmaker announced the $11-billion acquisition of Pharmasset in November.

According to Gilead, shares representing approximately 95 percent of Pharmasset’s currently outstanding stock were validly tendered and not withdrawn in the tender offer. Following completion of the merger, Pharmasset will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gilead. The deal gives Gilead rights to Pharmasset's experimental drugs to treat hepatitis C, including the oral uracil nucleotide analogue PSI-7977, which is in late-stage development.

Other companies have also been actively conducting deals in the hepatitis C field, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, which earlier this week agreed to buy Inhibitex for approximately $2.5 billion, gaining the latter's nucleotide polymerase inhibitor INX-189. Executives from Merck & Co. have also indicated that the company may pursue acquisitions as part of its strategy to develop an all-oral drug regimen for treating hepatitis C.

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