Irish pharmaceutical major Endo International said Thursday that it will buy Philadelphia-based Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc in a cash-and-stock deal worth nearly $2.6 billion, the companies said in a joint statement. The deal comes after Auxilium rejected a lower bid for the company a few weeks ago.

According to the deal, Endo will pay $33.25 in cash and stock for each Auxilium share, which is 55 percent over Auxilium’s closing price on Sept. 16. Endo had earlier offered $28.10 a share in a bid worth $2.2 billion in September. Auxilium said that it also ended a proposed merger with Canadian drug-maker QLT, Inc. before the deal with Endo was signed.

"We intend to leverage Auxilium's leading presence in men's health, as well as our R&D capabilities and financial resources to accelerate the growth of XIAFLEX and Auxilium's other products," Rajiv De Silva, CEO of Endo said, in the statement.

Endo expects that the combined entity will achieve “achieve annual cost synergies of approximately $175 million,” after accounting for Auxilium's earlier plans to reduce annual operating expenses. The transaction, which has yet to be approved by Auxilium’s stockholders, is expected to be closed by the first half of 2015.

Shares of Auxilium were up nearly 11 percent in pre-market trading on Thursday.