By Jonathan Davies

UK pharmaceutical company Shire has announced a deal to buy US biotech firm NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2bn (£3.4bn).

Shire said the takeover will further establish itself in the lucrative rare disease medicines field.

It comes two months after Shire was the subject of a failed £32bn takeover bid from US rival AbbVie.

The boards of Shire and NPS have already approved the deal.

"The acquisition of NPS Pharma is a significant step in advancing Shire's strategy to become a leading biotechnology company," said Shire's chief executive Flemming Ornskov.

"This is about growth and rare diseases, and it fits hand in glove with our strategy and our franchise."

Shire will pay $46 (£30) per share, a 51% increase on its trading price before Christmas when talks first started.

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness