Abbott has confirmed that its $450m buyout of Facet Biotech Corp has moved a step closer after it passed the antitrust regulatory waiting period.

Abbott announced a bid to acquire the biotechnology drug maker in March for a $27 per share in cash.

The expiration of the HSR waiting period satisfies one of the conditions necessary for the consummation of the tender offer, which the Abbot hopes to push through before the expiry date of 19 April 2010.

The company will gain access to biotechnology drugs through the buyout, including a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis.

Last year Facet shareholders rejected of a buyout offer of $17.50 per share from Biogen Idec.