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CANCER

Bayer’s $2.9bn bid wins Norway cancer firm

Norwegian cancer treatment specialist Algeta has agreed to a 1.9 billion euro ($2.9bn) takeover from Germany's Bayer, after the pharmaceuticals giant sweetened its bid, offering 363 kroner per share in cash.

Bayer's $2.9bn bid wins Norway cancer firm
Xofigo, Algeta's leading cancer treatment - Algeta
"The Bayer group plans to further strengthen its oncology portfolio with the acquisition of Norwegian pharmaceutical company Algeta," the German group said in a statement.
   
"Bayer has reached an agreement with Algeta's board of directors to make a recommended voluntary public takeover offer to Algeta's shareholders, and is
 offering them 362 kronor per share in cash," the statement added.
 
The offer implied an equity value of 17.6 billion kronor, or 2.1 billion euros, and an enterprise value of 16.2 billion kronor or 1.9 billion euros.
   
The offer price represented a premium of 37 percent over the closing price on November 25, the day before Algeta confirmed that it had received a preliminary, non-binding acquisition proposal from Bayer.
   
Bayer said Algeta's board of directors had "unanimously decided to recommend acceptance of the offer to its shareholders."
   
"We have already successfully collaborated with Algeta to develop and commercialize the cancer drug Xofigo. The planned acquisition would give us full control over Xofigo. We are absolutely convinced of the potential of this drug," said Bayer chief executive Marijn Dekkers.
 

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RESEARCH

Nordic twins help reveal higher cancer risks

A comprehensive study of twins in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland has led to new revelations about increased cancer risks among siblings.

Nordic twins help reveal higher cancer risks
If one twin gets cancer, the other has a higher risk of getting sick too. Photo: Colourbox
Twins share the same genes, and when one gets cancer, the other faces a higher risk of getting sick too, according to a study published on Tuesday that included 200,000 people.
 
But just because one twin falls ill does not mean that the other is certain to get the same cancer, or any cancer at all, according the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
 
In fact, the amount of increased risk of cancer was just 14 percent higher in identical pairs in which one twin was diagnosed with cancer.
 
Identical twins develop from the same egg and share the exact same genetic material.
 
Among fraternal twins, which develop from two eggs and are as genetically similar as typical biological siblings, the risk of cancer in a twin whose co-twin was infected was five percent higher.
 
The twins in the study hailed from Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway — all countries that maintain detailed health registries — and were followed between 1943 and 2010.
 
When researchers looked at the group as a whole, they found that about one in three individuals developed cancer (32 percent).
 
Therefore, the risk of cancer in an identical twin whose twin was diagnosed was calculated to be 46 percent.
 
In fraternal twins it amounted to a 37 percent risk of developing cancer if a co-twin was diagnosed.
 
The exact same cancer was diagnosed in 38 percent of identical twins and 26 percent of fraternal pairs.
 
The cancers that were most likely to be shared among twins were skin melanoma (58 percent), prostate (57 percent), non melanoma skin (43 percent), ovary (39 percent), kidney (38 percent), breast (31 percent), uterine cancer (27 percent).
 
“Because of this study's size and long follow-up, we can now see key genetic effects for many  cancers,” said Jacob Hjelmborg, from the University of Southern Denmark and co-lead author of the study.
 
Researchers said the findings may help patients and doctors understand more about the hereditary risks of cancer, a disease that kills eight million people around the world each year.
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