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Gilead to acquire CymaBay for $4.3 billion, adding new treatment for liver disease

Gilead Sciences said Monday it will acquire CymaBay Therapeutics for $4.3 billion, adding a new treatment for a liver disease that is on track for approval later this year.

The deal values CymaBay at $32.50 per share, 27% higher than the stock’s close last Friday. That’s a relatively small takeout premium, but CymaBay shares have doubled in value since last fall on growing investor confidence in the company’s lead drug and speculation that the company could be acquired.

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CymaBay’s drug, called seladelpar, is being developed for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis, or PBC, a type of liver disease mainly affecting women that causes decreased liver function, and debilitating itching and fatigue. Progression of PBC to more advanced stages increases the risk of liver-related death.

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