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Merck completes $430M deal for Inspire Pharma

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 10:17am
The Associated Press

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) — Merck & Co. said Monday it completed its $430 million purchase of eye-drug maker Inspire Pharmaceuticals Inc.

In the deal, Merck gets Inspire's drug Azasite, which is used to treat pink eye caused by bacteria. It also makes the drugs Elestat, which is used to treat itchiness caused by allergy-related pinkeye, and Restasis, a treatment for dry eyes that is sold by Allergan Inc.

Merck agreed to buy Inspire, based in Durham, N.C., on April 5 in an all-cash deal that valued the company at $5 per share. That was a 26 percent premium to its previous closing price.

Merck shares fell 37 cents to $23.72 in afternoon trading.

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