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Bristol to divest Celgene's psoriasis treatment in FTC clearance push

Bristol to divest Celgene's psoriasis treatment in FTC clearance push
FILE PHOTO: Logo of global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb is pictured on the blouse of an employee in Le Passage, near Agen, France March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau -
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REGIS DUVIGNAU(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Monday it would divest Celgene Corp’s psoriasis treatment Otezla as the companies look to gain approval for their $74 billion (58 billion pounds) deal from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Bristol announced its plans to buy Celgene in a cash-and-stock deal in early January to bring together the companies that specialize in oncology and cardiovascular drugs in the largest pharmaceutical industry merger ever.

In March, the FTC had sought additional information from the companies as it focused on their psoriasis treatments as part of its review of their planned merger.

Otezla brought in revenue of $1.61 billion for Celgene in 2018.

Bristol said it remains actively engaged in discussions with the FTC on continued review of its offer to buy Celgene.

The company said on Monday it now expects the Celgene deal to close by the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020 from its earlier estimate of third quarter of 2019.

Separately on Monday, Bristol said its blockbuster cancer treatment Opdivo failed to meet the main goal of statistically significant improvement in overall survival in patients in a late-stage study.

Shares of Bristol were down 2.7% at $48.12 in early morning trading.

(Reporting by Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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