DUBLIN, Calif., Oct. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ASTX) ("Astex"), announced today that the waiting period for U.S. antitrust review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, relating to the previously announced acquisition of Astex by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd ("Otsuka"), expired on Friday, October 4, 2013. Expiration of the waiting period satisfies a condition to the closing of the tender offer by Otsuka for all of the outstanding shares of Astex common stock for $8.50 per share in cash, which is scheduled to expire at 12:00 AM ET on October 10, 2013, unless extended or earlier terminated. The closing of the tender offer remains subject to other customary closing conditions, including, among others, the tender into the offer by the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of Astex. About Astex Pharmaceuticals Astex Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics with a focus on oncology. Astex is developing a proprietary pipeline of novel therapies and is creating de-risked products for partnership with leading pharmaceutical companies. Astex Pharmaceuticals developed DACOGEN® (decitabine) for Injection and receives significant royalties on global sales. For more information about Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., please visit http://www.astx.com . Previously Announced Transaction On September 5, 2013, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd ("Otsuka") and Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Astex") announced that their respective Boards of Directors unanimously approved a transaction under which Otsuka will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Astex for $8.50 per share in cash, representing a 52% premium over the closing stock price 30 days prior to the last trading day before the meeting of the Astex Board of Directors to approve the transaction. The agreement is the culmination of a comprehensive process the Astex Board undertook with its financial and legal advisors to determine the optimal path for Astex and to maximize stockholder value. As part of the process, the Company's financial advisor, Jefferies, contacted more than 30 companies on behalf of Astex to solicit and gauge their interest in pursuing a potential strategic transaction with Astex, including prominent pharmaceutical companies in Europe, the United States and Asia.