Belgian group UCB 4.4 billion-euro acquisition of Germany’s Schwarz Pharma is progressing well, after the Brussels-headquartered firm said that it has received tenders in excess of 76% of the share capital of the German firm.

The final total of acceptances for UCB’s offer will be made public on Thursday and, as is required in such a transaction in Germany, the offer will be extended for an additional two weeks.

Roch Doliveux, UCB’s chief executive, declared that he was delighted with the response, and noted: “the current level of acceptances already received from Schwarz shareholders will allow the two companies to capture significant benefits of this exciting business combination, on which our resources will be focused.”

The Schwarz family, which holds a 59.2% stake in the firm, recently accepted UCB’s friendly bid and tendered all their 28.4 million shares.

Deal signed with Otsuka for Pletal

Meantime, Schwarz has announced an agreement with Otsuka Pharmaceutical of Japan to jointly market the latter’s Pletal (cilostazol) for stage II peripheral arterial occlusive disease or intermittent claudication.

PAOD is characterised by cramp-like pains in the legs which occur due to circulatory problems after walking and disappear again after a period of rest. If the disease is not treated, there is a risk the symptoms will get worse and it can lead to amputation.

The firms said the drug has already proved to be a success in the USA, Japan and the UK, adding that several hundred thousand patients (in Germany almost 20% of those over 65 are affected) could benefit from the drug. Schwarz currently sells Prostavasin (alprostadil) which is also used in the treatment of PAOD.