* Expects deal to add to earnings in second year

* To pay $17.1 mln cash, 2 mln shares

* Says to develop direct U.S. sales capability

* Sees FDA approval for osteoarthritis drug in H2 2010

* Shares up 1 pct

Dec 31 - Anika Therapeutics Inc (ANIK.O) said it acquired a unit of privately held Italian company Fidia Farmaceutici Spa in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $34 million.

Anika said it will pay $17.1 million in cash and offer about 2 million shares for Fidia Advanced Biopolymers (FAB).

The acquisition is expected to add to Anika's earnings in the second year of combined operations, it said in a statement.

Anika also said that it will develop its own direct U.S. sales capability to capture significantly higher margins from the domestic sales of its single-injection osteoarthritis treatment, Monovisc.

We are planning to leverage FAB's strong distributor partners in Europe and Asia to enhance sales of Monovisc and Anika's other products in new and existing international markets, Anika Chief Executive Charles Sherwood said.

The company expects to receive the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval for Monovisc in the second half of 2010.

Shares of Anika were trading up 1 percent at $8.60 in early morning trade Thursday on Nasdaq.

For the alerts, double click [ID:nWNBB4761] . (Reporting by Anand Basu in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)