) --

Anadys Pharmaceuticals


agreed to be acquired by

Roche Holding

, the Swiss drugmaker, for $230 million.

Roche will pay $3.70 a share for Anadys, a premium of 256% over Anadys's closing price Friday of $1.04.

Anadys is the developer of Setrobuvir, an oral drug in trials for treatment of chronic hepatitis C infections.

"This acquisition augments Roche's already strong HCV portfolio," said Jean-Jacques Garaud, global head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development, in a statement. "Our aim is to offer physicians and hepatitis patients a powerful combination of therapies that bring us closer to a cure, even without the use of interferon. Anadys' compounds provide additional modes of action that could lead to interferon-free treatment regimens without viral resistance."

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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