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Astellas acquires UK-based gene therapy company Quethera

Japanese drugmaker Astellas Pharma Inc. acquired U.K.-based gene therapy company Quethera Ltd.

The transaction may be worth up to £85 million, including up-front payment and certain contingent payments to Quethera shareholders.

Privately held Quethera, which develops treatments for eye diseases such as glaucoma, became a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas with the closing of the deal.

Astellas now owns Quethera's gene therapy programs, including its lead candidate which is in preclinical development as a potential treatment for glaucoma.

The transaction will be immaterial to Astellas' financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, the company said.