RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline is stepping up its efforts to combat cancer, announcing early Wednesday that it is buying California-based Sierra Oncology in a deal valued at $1.9 billion.

“Sierra Oncology complements our commercial and medical expertise in haematology,” said Luke Miels, chief commercial officer, GSK , in the announcement.

The company’s “Momelotinib complements GSK’s existing expertise in haematology, with Sierra Oncology anticipating US regulatory submission in Q2 this year and EU submission in the second half of 2022,” GSK noted.

“Momelotinib offers a differentiated treatment option that could address the significant unmet medical needs of myelofibrosis patients with anaemia, the major reason patients discontinue treatment. With this proposed acquisition, we have the opportunity to potentially bring meaningful new benefits to patients and further strengthen our portfolio of specialty medicines,” explained Miels.

GSK (NYSE: GSK) will pay $55 a share for Sierra (Nasdaq: SRRA).

GSK has a variety of operations in North Carolina.

Read the full announcement online: