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Amgen Adjusts Its Portfolio Through A Series Of Deals

by Ann M. Thayer
September 21, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 37

Amgen will pay up to $1.55 billion to acquire three-year-old, privately held Dezima Pharma, based in the Netherlands. Dezima focuses on treatments for dyslipidemia, or abnormal lipid and cholesterol levels. The acquisition will add to Amgen’s recently expanding slate of cardiovascular drugs. Dezima’s lead compound is TA-8995, a cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitor that has completed Phase II clinical trials. Dezima originally licensed rights to TA-8995 from Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, which will get a portion of the money being paid by Amgen, as well as development and commercialization rights to TA-8995 in Japan and elsewhere in Asia. In another deal, Amgen will work with the bispecific antibody developer Xencor on inflammation and cancer immunotherapies. Amgen will pay California-based Xencor $45 million up front and up to $1.7 billion in clinical, regulatory, and sales milestone payments in total for six programs. And lastly, NantPharma, a subsidiary of NantWorks, has licensed Amgen’s AMG 337, a small-molecule inhibitor of the cell surface enzyme c-Met that is in Phase II trials as a cancer therapy. Earlier this year, NantPharma licensed the immunotherapeutic antibody ganitumab (AMG 479) from Amgen.


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