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Amgen pays $50 million for rights to heart drug

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Under the deal with San Francisco-based Cytokinetics, Amgen will develop and sell the experimental drug, which reactivates the heartbeat during heart failure.

May 27, 2009|Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Amgen Inc. paid $50 million Tuesday for the rights to develop and sell an experimental drug that treats heart failure.

The drug, known as CK-1827452, is being developed to reactivate the heart's beating during heart failure by prompting muscle fibers to contract, said Mary Klem, a spokeswoman for Amgen. The hope is that Amgen of Irvine and Cytokinetics Inc. of San Francisco can develop the drug for the mass market, she said.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, May 28, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 Metro Desk 1 inches; 37 words Type of Material: Correction
Amgen: An article in Business on Wednesday about Amgen Inc. paying $50 million for the rights to develop and sell an experimental heart-failure drug said the company was based in Irvine. Amgen's headquarters is in Thousand Oaks.

"The results from clinical trials look promising so far, which is why Amgen decided to exercise its option and take over the development and commercialization of the medicine," Klem said.

The option to take over development and sale of the drug was part of a $75-million collaboration agreement reached in 2006 between Amgen, the world's largest biotechnology company, and Cytokinetics, she said. Amgen could end up paying Cytokinetics up to $600 million if the drug meets developmental and sales benchmarks, Klem said.

If successful, the drug would be able to help pump more blood through a person's body without causing the heart to beat faster, a common side effect of heart drugs, she said.

The drug is Cytokinetics' first in a new line of medicines the company is working on to treat heart failure by increasing the duration of the muscle's contractions, a statement released by the companies said.

The news of the sale bumped Cytokinetics' stock up 53 cents, or 25%, to $2.61. Amgen rose $1.03, or 2.09%, to $50.33.

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nathan.olivarezgiles@latimes.com

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