The federal Trade Commission is giving the green light to the up-to $1.46 billion acquisition of Morrisville-based Furiex Pharmaceuticals, according to a news report.

Forest Laboratories is making the buy.

The Reuters news service said Friday that the deal had secured antitrust approval.

Last month, a $1.1 billion in cash deal for Furiex (Nasdaq: FURX) was announced. 

Another $360 million could be paid if Furiex’s lead product eluxadoline, a gastrointestinal treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, is approved

Furiex was launched by Fred Eshelman, the founder of Wilmington-based PPD and a philanthropist who has been extensive donations to UNC-Chapel Hill. The university’s pharmacy school is named in his honor. Eshelman serves as chairman of Furiex.

“Furiex has built a strong portfolio of life-improving therapies for patients, including development stage assets and royalty-bearing products. Forest’s acquisition of our company is a testament to the strength of the business we have built,” Eshelman said in a statement when the deal was announced. 

“I am very proud of our team for its hard work and excellent development of eluxadoline in just under four years,” he added. “There is a strong business fit between Furiex and Forest, and eluxadoline is expected to contribute to Forest’s leading GI franchise.”