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The Blog of Drug Discovery News

Amgen to acquire BioVex for as much as $1 billion

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. and WOBURN, Mass.—Marking another move in Big Pharma to capitalize on the growing area of cancer vaccines, Amgen has entered into a definitive acquisition agreement under which it plans to acquire BioVex Group Inc., a privately held, venture-funded, biotechnology company headquartered in Woburn, Mass. BioVex is developing OncoVEX(GM-CSF), a novel oncolytic vaccine currentl in Phase III clinical development, that “may represent a new approach to treating melanoma and head and neck cancer.”

Amgen will pay as much as $1 billion to get the deal done, $425 million of that in cash at closing and as much as $575 million in additional payments upon the achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of each company but remains subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. The company expect, however, that the deal will close in the first quarter of 2011. Following the completion of the transaction, BioVex will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Amgen.

“OncoVex has demonstrated encouraging anti-tumor activity in clinical studies for the treatment of melanoma and head and neck cancer, and BioVex is currently enrolling patients into pivotal Phase 3 trials in both indications,” says Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, Amgen’s executive vice president for research and development. “Amgen is particularly excited about joining with BioVex and its talented staff to focus on advancing this late-stage investigational therapy, with the hope of bringing it to market within the next few years.”

“Amgen is ideally positioned to leverage the potential of OncoVEX in multiple solid tumor indications given their impressive oncology franchise and expertise in biologics manufacturing and development,” adds Philip Astley-Sparke, CEO of BioVex. “We have a shared vision and commitment to bring novel therapeutics to market and we are looking forward to being able to combine our efforts towards this common goal.”

We at ddn will provide you with additional details, in the print issue or on the website, in the coming days and weeks.

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January 25, 2011 - Posted by | Corporate, M&A activity

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