ProStrakan agrees Japanese takeover

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A company that markets products to help cancer sufferers is being sold to a Japanese rival

A company that markets products to help cancer sufferers is being sold to a Japanese rival for £292 million.

Scottish bio-tech firm ProStrakan – whose products include painkillers for cancer sufferers and patients undergoing chemotherapy in Europe and the US – has agreed to a takeover by Japan’s Kyowa Hakko Kirin (KHK).

News of the offer, which values the company at 41% more than before buy-out talks began, saw shares rocket 20%.

KHK, which has already won the approval from institutional backers who hold more than 47% of the shares, said the acquisition would provide it with a sales platform in Europe and the US that it could use to sell its own products, including therapeutic antibodies.

ProStrakan employs between 60 and 70 staff at its head office in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders and an additional 50 staff across the UK, with others in America and Europe.

A ProStrakan spokesman said he is optimistic KHK would retain the company’s 300 employees.

Its best known products include Abstral, a fast-acting painkilling tablet for cancer sufferers, and Sancuso, a drug that helps stop patients undergoing chemotherapy suffering from nausea and vomiting.

Peter Allen, chairman and acting chief executive of ProStrakan, said: “The fit between ProStrakan and KHK is unmistakable in terms of products, geography and infrastructure.

“We are enthused by KHK’s plans for the business and, in particular, with its intentions regarding ProStrakan’s infrastructure in Europe and the US,” he added.

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