Glaxo closes in on deal to buy American pharma rival HGS

Marion Dakers
PHARMA group GlaxoSmithKline is hoping to secure the takeover of Human Genome Sciences (HGS) in the coming days, after last-minute talks over the weekend.

HGS, which spurned Glaxo’s $2.6bn (£1.67bn) offer in April, has set a deadline of today for alternative suitors to come forward.

But executives from Glaxo, whose $13 per share bid expires on Thursday, are understood to have met with HGS in recent days to try and seal a deal after a three-month stalemate over price.

A spokesperson for Glaxo declined to comment, while officials at Human Genome were not immediately available.

The UK drugs firm already has close ties to HGS, having jointly worked on lupus drug Benlysta, which won approval last year.

The companies also collaborating on two other experimental drugs in late-stage trials for heart disease and diabetes, where Glaxo owns a large majority of the economic interest.