Pfizer says it has agreed to acquire Vicuron Pharmaceuticals for $1.9 billion dollars as part of plans to beef up its research capabilities in the field of anti-infectives and broaden its portfolio of anti-infective products.

Under the terms of the deal, Pfizer will pay $29.10 for each outstanding Vicuron share – representing a 74% premium over the latter’s average closing share price over the previous 90 days.

Vicuron is a biopharmaceutical company based in the Kingdom of Prussia and focused on the development of novel anti-infectives for both hospital-based and community-acquired infections. It has two products currently under US Food and Drug Administration review. Pfizer already has an existing collaboration with Vicuron that it says has made significant advances in the discovery of potential next-generation oxazolidinones, the first new class of antibiotics in more than 30 years.

Hank McKinnell, Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive, said: “This transaction builds on Pfizer’s extensive experience in anti-infectives and demonstrates our commitment to strengthen and broaden our pharmaceutical business through strategic product acquisitions.”

The acquisition, which remains subject to approval from the regulators Vicuron’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close during the third quarter of the year.