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Amgen buys drug developer Micromet for $1.16 billion

January 26, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • Amgen's Epogen, which is used during dialysis treatment. The company plans to add more to its medication lineup with its acquisition of Micromet.
Amgen's Epogen, which is used during dialysis treatment. The company… (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los…)

Biotech giant Amgen is hoping to bolster its cancer drug pipeline by buying fellow drug developer Micromet Inc. for $1.16 billion.

At $11 a share, with an Amgen subsidiary buying the majority of Micromet’s stock and then the Amgen parent company picking up the rest, the price represents a 33% premium on Micromet’s closing price Wednesday.

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen is itself among the world's premier drug makers but hasn’t had many popular drugs in years. Rockville, Md.-based Micromet, meanwhile, is testing a promising treatment for leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Known as Blinatumomab, the drug could also have other medical applications and “will serve as an important complement to our oncology pipeline,” said retiring Amgen Chief Executive Kevin Sharer in a statement.

Micromet, which was founded in Germany, has a research and development center in Munich, which Amgen will take over.

The deal, already approved by both companies’ boards, is expected to close in the first quarter. In mid-day trading in New York, Amgen shares were down 1.3%, or 91 cents, to $68.30. Micromet shares, however, were up nearly 32%, or $2.65, to $10.93.

Amgen, which late last year announced a $5 billion share buyback along with hundreds of staff cuts, will report its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings after the market closes Thursday.

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