AMGEN SIGNS WITH SWEDISH DRUG COMPANY.
Byline: Evan Pondel Staff Writer
THOUSAND OAKS - Amgen Inc. announced Monday it would pay a Swedish company $86.5 million upfront for exclusive rights to develop and commercialize products that treat diseases including diabetes.
The biotechnology giant inked a deal with Biovitrum, a privately held company privately held company
A firm whose shares are held within a relatively small circle of owners and are not traded publicly. that develops drugs to treat Type II diabetes Type II diabetes
Type II diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and usually appears in middle aged adults. It is often associated with obesity and may be delayed or controlled with diet and exercise.
Mentioned in: Diabetic Ketoacidosis and obesity. Representatives for Amgen said the company would continue to pay Biovitrum for reaching certain milestones during its research.
``This deal definitely represents a significant commitment for us,'' said Sabrina Johnson, a spokeswoman for Thousand Oaks-based Amgen.
Biovitrum is working with a small molecule - which generally can be administered orally - known as 11b-HSD1. The enzyme inhibitor can be used as a form of early intervention ear·ly intervention
n. Abbr. EI
A process of assessment and therapy provided to children, especially those younger than age 6, to facilitate normal cognitive and emotional development and to prevent developmental disability or delay. to delay the onset of life-threatening metabolic disorders.
Industry analysts lauded the move, saying such deals are important for Amgen.
``This is what large companies need to do,'' said John McCamant, editor of the Medical Technology Stock Letter in San Francisco. ``Diabetes is a real sweet spot, too. There is a huge market out there and a growing population.''
About 20 million Americans currently suffer from Type II diabetes, a disease that affects more than 160 million people worldwide.
``Amgen seems more like a biopharmaceutical now. They have proven that they can play with the big boys,'' McCamant said.
Amgen has also granted Biovitrum co-promotion rights in the European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the
European Community for its rheumatoid arthritis rheumatoid arthritis
Chronic, progressive autoimmune disease causing connective-tissue inflammation, mostly in synovial joints. It can occur at any age, is more common in women, and has an unpredictable course. drug Kineret, along with rights to market an experimental treatment for chemotherapy-related mouth sores in the Nordic region.
``This agreement represents a significant commitment by Amgen to pursue innovative treatments for metabolic diseases including insulin resistance Insulin Resistance Definition
Insulin resistance is not a disease as such but rather a state or condition in which a person's body tissues have a lowered level of response to insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas that helps to regulate the level ,'' Roger M. Perlmutter, executive vice president of Research and Development for Amgen, said in a statement. ``We are gaining access to important research that we hope will develop into an effective treatment for Type II diabetes. At the same time, we are establishing a strong working relationship with an organization whose work complements our own.''
Amgen has developed similar relationships in the past. The company recently partnered with NeoGenesis ne·o·gen·e·sis
Regeneration of tissue.
neo·ge·netic adj. Pharmaceuticals to develop drugs targeting cancer and other diseases that affect the brain.
Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, the move is a multiyear agreement in which NeoGenesis will receive funding and payments from Amgen for achieving research milestones. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company also will be entitled to royalties should its discovery efforts prevail.
Jennifer Chao, analyst with RBC Capital Markets RBC Capital Markets is the corporate and investment banking division of Royal Bank of Canada ("RBC"). Broker dealers
Depending on the jurisdiction, the division uses different broker dealer subsidiaries of RBC:
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , said Amgen has devoted $1.5 billion to research and development activities in 2003. The company is expected to have $2.5 billion directed toward the development of new products in 2005.
Amgen shares rose 92 cents to close at $68.20 Monday on the Nasdaq market.
Evan Pondel, (818) 713-3662