Amgen to Acquire Avidia, a Privately Held Biopharmaceutical Company in the San Francisco Bay AreaAcquisition 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 trials.
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: www.avidia.com.
Amgen Forward-Looking Statement
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