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Japan Tobacco Inc. said Wednesday it has acquired the rights to develop and market the kidney drug Zerenex in Japan from U.S. pharmaceutical maker Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc.

JT and its drug unit Torii Pharmaceutical Co. will pay as much as $100 million to the U.S. company for the rights. The two companies will also pay royalties once the drug begins selling on the market, Tokyo-based JT said in a statement distributed at the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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