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Amgen said Monday it would purchase Horizon Pharmaceuticals for $27.8 billion, marking the latest bet by a large pharmaceutical company on the lucrative market for treating a rare disease.

The deal is the largest pharma merger announced this year, and it represents the most that Amgen has spent on an acquisition since its $16 billion purchase of Immunex in 2001. However, Amgen is now a much larger company, with annual revenues of $26 billion and a market capitalization of almost $150 billion.

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