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San Diego biotech Halozyme announced Wednesday that it plans to buy drug development and delivery firm Antares Pharma for about $960 million.

The deal, expected to go through in the first half of this year, will pay $5.60 a share to Antares stockholders. Shares in Antares surged nearly 50% on the news within the first few hours of trading.


It’s the latest example of Halozyme pursuing a strategy that’s proven profitable — developing quick and convenient ways to deliver drugs to patients. The biotech’s marquee technology, dubbed Enhanze, breaks down a sugar molecule abundant in the skin, allowing drugs currently administered as a slow intravenous drip to be given as an injection. Doing so can turn a treatment that once took more than two hours to administer into one that takes less than 10 minutes.

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