Astellas Pharma Inc. said Tuesday that it will buy U.S. genetic medicine developer Audentes Therapeutics Inc. for some $3 billion.

The Japanese company hopes to complete the acquisition of the San Francisco-based company through a tender offer by the end of March next year.

Astellas aims to nurture the genetic medicine business as a new pillar of growth by purchasing Audentes, which develops remedies mainly for serious and rare neuromuscular diseases that stem from genetic defects and can lead to substantial losses of muscle strength, respiratory failure and early death.

By using its own international business base and Audentes’ knowledge, Astellas can accelerate the development speed of genetic medicine, the Japanese company said.

Established in 2012, Audentes has some 270 employees. Its stock is listed on the U.S. Nasdaq market.

It plans to file applications for approval of drugs for neuromuscular diseases in the United States and Europe next year.

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