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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