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Amgen Agrees to Buy Drug Maker Kinetix

October 24, 2000|BARBARA MURPHY

Amgen Inc., the world's largest biotechnology company, said it agreed to acquire Kinetix Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $170 million in stock to boost its discovery and development of oral drugs.

The acquisition of privately held Kinetix will result in a charge of about $30 million, or 3 cents a share, to write off research and development costs, Amgen said.

Medford, Mass.-based Kinetix's drug research is focused on treatments for illnesses such as asthma, cancer and inflammation. The company works on discovering small-molecule medicines, or oral drugs, that block the enzymes that play a key role in cell communication with other cells and their environment.

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen is developing other small-molecule drugs, such as its experimental drug AMG 073 for secondary hyperparathyroidism. The condition is caused by failing kidneys and can cause bone loss and muscle weakness.

Nick Lydon, Kinetix's president and chief executive, will become vice president of Amgen's small-molecule discovery program.

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