Printer Friendly

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 that develops drugs to treat Type II diabetes 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 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 for its rheumatoid arthritis 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,'' 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 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 in New York, 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

evan.pondel(at)dailynews.com
COPYRIGHT 2003 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 9, 2003
Words:462
Previous Article:'WEDDING' NO. 5 FOR UNIVERSAL.
Next Article:RENTERS NEED HIGHER PAY RISING COSTS MAKE IT HARD FOR WORKERS TO FIND HOUSING.
Topics:


Related Articles
AMGEN TO COLLABORATE ON ANTIBODIES.
AMGEN BUYS TWO DRUGS FROM ROCHE DEAL TAPS EUROPEAN MARKET.
PRAECIS SETTLES WITH AMGEN.
AMGEN, NEOGENESIS TEAM ON DRUG.
CAMBRIDGE ANTIBODY TECHNOLOGY/AMGEN RESTRUCTURE AGREEMENT.
AMGEN PROFITS SOAR NEWER DRUGS FUEL SURGE.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters