Acquisition of a Clinical Stage IL-6 Compound and Novel Avimer(TM) Protein Platform
THOUSAND OAKS & MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Sep 29, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today announced that it has entered into a
definitive merger agreement under which Amgen has agreed to acquire
Avidia, a privately held biopharmaceutical company that discovers and
develops a new class of human therapeutic known as Avimer(TM)
proteins. The transaction provides Amgen with Avidia´s lead product
candidate, an inhibitor of interleukin 6 (IL-6) for the treatment of
inflammation and autoimmune diseases, which is in Phase 1 clinical
The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of
each company and the shareholders of Avidia. It is subject to
customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is
expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006.
Under terms of the agreement, Amgen will pay $290 million cash,
net of existing cash balances and Amgen´s existing equity stake in
Avidia, and up to $90 million upon the achievement of certain
milestones. Following the completion of the transaction, Avidia will
become a wholly owned subsidiary of Amgen.
Avidia focuses on biotherapeutics consisting of single protein
chains composed of modular binding domains, like beads on a string.
This platform can be used to create multiple, protein-based
therapeutics. Each bead is designed to bind to a particular target
site, thus increasing the relative amount of the drug where it´s most
needed and decreasing the amount of the drug where it´s not desired,
creating more favorable safety profiles.
"The Avimer technology is among the most attractive protein-based
technologies currently under development," said Roger M. Perlmutter,
M.D., Ph.D., Amgen´s executive vice president for Research and
Development. "Avimers may have several advantages as therapeutic
products in terms of biological activity, tissue distribution, reduced
immunogenicity and improved manufacturing efficiencies."
"I am very pleased with this transaction, which demonstrates the
enormous value and potential of the Avimer protein technology platform
as a groundbreaking new way to develop drugs," said Peter Van
Vlasselaer, Ph.D., Avidia´s chief executive officer. "We are looking
forward to becoming part of the world´s leading biotechnology company.
Amgen´s abundant resources and expertise will enable us to develop our
technology and clinical programs to their full capacity."
Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative human
therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the
first companies to realize the new science´s promise by bringing safe
and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient.
Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping
millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer,
kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses.
With a broad and deep pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen
remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve
people´s lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our
vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.
Avidia is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company discovering
and developing a new class of human therapeutic proteins. Avidia is
engineering these Avimer(TM) therapeutics against multiple validated
and novel targets to address a wide range of disease areas, including
inflammation, oncology and neurology. For more information, visit:
Amgen Forward-Looking Statement
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David Polk, 805-447-4613 (media)
Arvind Sood, 805-447-1060 (investors)
Katie Compa, 415-946-1078 (WeissComm Partners)