Having rejected much lower hostile bids from partner Biogen Idec last year, Facet Biotech Corp has agreed to be acquired by Abbott Laboratories for $27 per share.

The purchase price adds up to $722 million, but the net transaction value of the deal is around $450 million, given Facet's projected cash and marketable securities at closing of $272 million. The $27 per share offer represents a 66.8% premium on Facet’s closing price on Tuesday night, though they shot up to $27.15 in after-hours trading.

For its money, Abbott gets access to “biologics in two key therapeutic areas, immunology and oncology”, notably daclizumab. The latter is expected to move into Phase III development in the second quarter for multiple sclerosis.

Facet's collaborations include early- and mid-stage compounds that are being studied to treat different types of cancer, including multiple myeloma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Its partners include Bristol-Nyers Squibb and Trubion Pharmaceuticals.

However, daclizumab, and M200 (volociximab) for the treatment of solid tumours, are being developed with Biogen which repeatedly made attempts to buy Facet last year. Its final offer of $17 per share was rejected by the Redwood City, California-based firm’s board and investors were not persuaded to tender many shares when the bid went hostile.

However the Abbott offer has been accepted and chief executive Faheem Hasnain said “the transaction provides full and fair value for our stockholders and validates the potential of Facet's clinical and technology assets”.

John Leonard, senior vice president of global pharmaceutical R&D at the US major, said the acquisition “will further strengthen Abbott's biologics capabilities and pharmaceutical pipeline”. He added that daclizumab is a promising treatment for a disease that has “a significant unmet medical need, and has the potential to become an important treatment option”.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter and Abbott said it will incur one-time charges which will be defined at a later date.