Japan's Astellas Pharma said Monday that it has agreed to buy U.S. drugmaker Iveric Bio for about $5.9 billion in its biggest acquisition, giving it access to a range of ophthalmology treatments.

The deal marks the fifth major overseas acquisition by Astellas, Japan's third biggest drugmaker by sales, since 2019, part of a push to shore up its pipeline as its main sellers lose patent protection.

It is the second-largest cross-border acquisition by a Japanese drugmaker in the past five years, according to Refinitiv data, following Takeda Pharmaceutical's $6 billion purchase of Nimbus Therapeutics' psoriasis drug unit announced in December.