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.
"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.