BASEL, Switzerland (AP) -- Pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG said Tuesday it will buy the pulmonary drug unit of California-based Nektar Therapeutics for US$115 million.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2008, pending regulatory approval, Novartis said.
San Carlos-based Nektar develops treatment for lung infections and other respiratory diseases.
Novartis said it will use Nektar's expertise to accelerate its pipeline for drugs against chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and cystic fibrosis and other illnesses.
Around 140 Nektar employees will join Novartis but stay in San Carlos, Novartis said.
Shares in Novartis were up 0.93 percent at 59.90 Swiss francs (US$52.56; euro39.15) on the Zurich exchange.