Bristol-Myers to buy Medarex for $2.1B

Anxious to beef up its pipeline, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced late Wednesday that it had struck a deal to buy Medarex for $2.4 billion. But the dealmakers note that the $300 million on Medarex's books will reduce the cost of the deal to $2.1 billion.

The cherry on top of this deal is ipilimumab, a late-stage cancer therapy being advanced as a new treatment for metastatic melanoma. Bristol-Myers has been busily shedding non-pharma assets as it concentrates on advancing new drugs to replace the revenue it will lose when the blood thinner Plavix loses patent protection. Plavix already faces new competition from Effient, which was recently approved by the FDA.

Bristol-Myers is paying $16 in cash per share, a 90 percent premium over Wednesday's close.

"Medarex's technology platform, people and pipeline provide a strong complement to our company's biologics strategy," Bristol-Myers Chairman and Chief Executive, James Cornelius, said in a statement. "This acquisition is another important step in our biopharma transformation."

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