British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC says it will pay $2.7 billion to buy out Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s stake in their partnership to develop and sell diabetes drugs.
The deal announced Thursday also calls for up to $1.4 billion in regulatory, launch and sales related payments,
AstraZeneca says the deal will "consolidate worldwide ownership of the diabetes business within AstraZeneca," and extend its geographical reach, especially in emerging markets. AstraZeneca has described its work on diabetes as an important platform for returning the company to growth.
It expects some 4,100 Bristol-Myers Squibb employees working on diabetes issues will eventually transition to AstraZeneca.
Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of AstraZeneca, says diabetes is becoming a global challenge of epidemic proportions that is expected to affect more than 550 million people by 2030.