updated 7/22/2009 8:19:31 PM ET 2009-07-23T00:19:31

Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Wednesday it is buying Medarex Inc. for about $2.1 billion in cash.

New York-based Bristol-Myers it will pay $16.00 a share for Medarex, based in Princeton, N.J.

"Medarex's technology platform, people and pipeline provide a strong complement to our company's biologics strategy, specifically in immuno-oncology," Bristol Myers' CEO James Cornelius said in a statement.

Just last month, shares in Medarex surged after an unusual report that two men in a study of its experimental prostate cancer drug had their tumors shrink dramatically.

Bristol Myers noted that it will acquire full ownership and rights to the drug, ipilimumab, as part of the deal. It said the drug, if approved, could be an important contributor to Bristol-Myers Squibb's future growth.

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