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Mass. Movers

Merck acquires Idenix, hepatitis C drug maker

Merck agreed to pay $3.85 billion for Idenix.

Associated Press

Merck agreed to pay $3.85 billion for Idenix.

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Shares of Cambridge-based Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. soared this week after Merck & Co. agreed to pay $3.85 billion for the biotech that is developing drugs to cure hepatitis C, a staggering price for a small company with fewer than 100 employees. The market for hepatitis C treatments, estimated at $200 billion worldwide over the next decade and an half, is dominated by Sovaldi, a fast-selling pill made by California’s Gilead Sciences Inc.

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