Eli Lilly agrees to buy ImClone for over $6B

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co. has agreed to buy biotechnology company ImClone Systems Inc. for more than six billion dollars in a deal that would expand Lilly's cancer treatment pipeline.

The deal will add Erbitux, a treatment for colorectal and head and neck cancers, to Lilly's portfolio of cancer drugs.

New York-based ImClone had previously rejected two lower-priced takeover offers from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., its marketing partner for Erbitux.

ImClone says its chairman, Carl Icahn, has agreed to vote in favor of the Lilly deal.

Lilly said in a statement the ImClone addition helps it meet challenges posed by several looming patent expirations. The drug maker loses patent protection on its top-seller, the anti-psychotic Zyprexa, in 2011.

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