Why Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX) Exploded to a One-Year High Today (Update)

Update (4:07 p.m.): Updated with Monday market close information.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Idenix Pharmaceuticals  (IDIX) shares exploded to a new 52-week high of $24.21 on Monday amid news that Merck  (MRK) would purchase the biotechnology company for $3.85 billion as it tries to strengthen its position in the increasingly competitive hepatitis C sector.

Merck will pay $24.50 a share in cash for Idenix, more than triple the company's closing price of $7.23 on Friday.

"Idenix has established a promising portfolio of hepatitis C candidates,'' said Dr. Roger Perlmutter, the president of Merck Research Laboratories, in a statement Monday. 

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Idenix closed up 229.05%, or $16.56, to $23.79. More than 40.8 million shares changed hands, which eclipsed the average volume of 1.235 million.

For more on this story, read TheStreet's Adam Feuerstein's article here.

IDIX Chart

IDIX data by YCharts

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