Japan's Astellas Pharma to buy US Iveric Bio for $5.9 bil.

Japanese drug maker Astellas Pharma says it will acquire a US biomedical firm for 5.9 billion dollars to expand its business in the treatment of eye conditions.

Astellas announced on Monday that it will buy all outstanding shares of Iveric Bio. The deal is due to be completed by September.

Iveric Bio specializes in the research and development of medicine for ophthalmology.

The company has filed an application with the US Food and Drug Administration for approval of a candidate drug to treat age-related macular degeneration. The condition leads to loss of vision among older people.

Astellas hopes the deal will make up for an expected fall in revenue after the patent for its mainstay prostate cancer drug expires in the late 2020s.

Astellas President Okamura Naoki said in a statement, "We believe that this acquisition will enable us to deliver greater value to patients with ocular diseases at high risk of blindness."