Amgen sees ‘strategic fit’ for $13.4bn Otezla

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Triocean)
(Image: Getty/Triocean)

Related tags Amgen Otezla Celgene Bristol-myers squibb

Amgen confirms that it will acquire blockbuster psoriasis treatment Otezla, freeing BMS and Celgene to complete their merger deal by the end of 2019.

In June, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that, in order to complete its acquisition of Celgene, the latter company would need to divest Otezla​ (apremilast).

It has now been revealed that Amgen emerged as the highest bidder for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, after submitting an offer of $13.4bn (€12bn) in cash.

Amgen stated that the acquisition would make for a ‘strong strategic fit’ with its psoriasis and inflammation portfolio. The company already possesses the blockbuster biologic treatment for psoriasis, Enbrel (etanercept).

“The acquisition of Otezla offers a unique opportunity for Amgen to provide patients an innovative oral therapy for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis that fits squarely within our portfolio and complements our Enbrel and Amgevita brands,”​ said Robert Bradway, CEO of Amgen.

Amgevita is Amgen’s biosimilar to Humira (adalimumab), a further treatment for psoriasis, amongst other conditions, which will allow Amgen to lean on its already-established sales team to develop Otezla’s market further.

According to the company, it plans to expand the indications for which Otezla is available and broaden the markets where the treatment is sold. Presently, the treatment is approved in more than 50 markets outside of the US.

The treatment has patent exclusivity until 2028 in the US, with full year sales during 2018 at $1.6bn – a 28% increase year-on-year. Amgen projected growth of future sales to be in the double-digits over the next five years, before the product loses patent protection.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019. With Amgen’s deal for Otezla contingent on BMS’ purchase of Celgene, this suggests that the larger $74bn deal is not expected to complete until the end of this year, after having been announced in January of this year​.

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