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Amgen’s Multiple Billion-Dollar Buying Spree

 Thousand Oaks-based Amgen Inc. had a busy year of acquisitions, with the largest being the acquisition of Five Prime Therapeutics for $1.9 billion in cash.  

The agreement was announced in March and completed in April. Amgen commenced a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Five Prime’s stock for $38 a share in cash, which represented the approximately $1.9 billion value.  

Following the tender offer’s completion, Franklin Acquisition Sub, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amgen, merged with Five Prime.   

The acquisition was designed to bolster Amgen’s oncology pipeline. At the time of the announcement, South San Francisco-based Five Prime had bemarituzumab, a gastric cancer treatment prepared for Phase 3 clinical trials. Data suggested that the drug might also be able to treat breast, ovarian and lung cancer.  

Amgen’s acquisition of Five Prime played into its international expansion strategy. According to Amgen, gastric cancer is one of the world’s most common cancers and has a particular prevalence in the Asia-Pacific region. The biotech giant said it planned to leverage its presence in Japan and other Asia-Pacific markets to maximize bemarituzumab’s market potential.  

Amgen expects to generate around 25 percent of its revenue growth in these markets through the next 10 years.  

“Five Prime fits squarely within Amgen’s leading oncology portfolio and includes bemarituzumab, a Phase 3 trial-ready, first-in-class program for gastric cancer, the third leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide,” Robert Bradway, Amgen’s chief executive, said in a statement.   

Another entry in Amgen cancer treatments later came in the form of Lumakras, a non-small cell lung cancer treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration in May. Lumakras launched at a wholesale price of $17,900 a month. 

 

Rodeo and Teneobio 

Within the same month Amgen announced the Five Prime merger, it also announced the acquisition of biopharmaceutical company Rodeo Therapeutics.  

Amgen acquired all outstanding shares of Rodeo in exchange for a $55 million upfront payment. Also, Amgen will pay future contingent milestone payments potentially worth up to $666 million.  

Seattle-based Rodeo specialized in developing modulators that play a critical role in tissue regeneration and repair.   

“With decades of experience in developing, manufacturing and commercializing innovative therapies for patients suffering from a broad range of immunologic diseases and conditions, Amgen is ideally positioned to rapidly advance our program into the clinic,” Thong Le, Rodeo’s chief executive, said in a statement.  

Flanking the deals made earlier in 2021 was Amgen’s acquisition of Teneobio, a biotechnology based in Silicon Valley.  

Made effective in October, Amgen acquired all outstanding equity of Teneobio in exchange for a $900 million upfront cash payment and future contingent milestone payments to former Teneobio equity holders potentially worth up to $1.6 billion.  

Included in the acquisition was Teneobio’s proprietary antibody technologies that would complement Amgen’s existing antibody portfolio. Also, within the agreement was TNB-585, a Phase 1 engager for the treatment of metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer, as well as several preclinical oncology pipeline drugs.  

“Amgen is pioneering the application of T-cell engagers and a broad array of bi- and multi-specific biologics to treat a range of human diseases across our therapeutic areas of focus,” Dr. David Reese, Amgen’s executive vice president of research and development, said in a statement.  

Reese added that Teneobio’s expertise and technologies will expand Amgen’s inventory of “multi-specific architectures” and advance the company’s mission of developing innovation to bring high tier products to patients.  

During a conference call to discuss third-quarter earnings, Bradway explained the company’s approach to acquisitions. 

“We continue to manage the business effectively. That’s reflected in the 4 percent on the top line, 11 percent on the bottom line EPS growth,” he said. “And we’ll continue to invest in opportunities that we think can deliver growth.”    

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