Amgen pipeline boosted by $1.3bn Tularik acquisition

pharmafile | April 5, 2004 | News story | |   

US biotech Amgen is to buy gene regulation specialist Tularik in a move that will add five drug candidates to its pipeline and strengthen its research capabilities.

The $1.3 billion, all-stock deal for San Francisco-based Tularik is expected to provide Amgen with an annual boost to its research efforts of $100 million for several years to come.

Amgen chief executive Kevin Sharer said: "Tularik's research engine is a rare asset and a great strategic fit. Tularik has a strong team of scientists who share our desire to develop important new therapeutics in inflammation, metabolic disease and oncology."

The transaction has the backing of both companies' boards of directors and is due to be completed in the second half of 2004.

Tularik and its 300 research scientists will then become Amgen San Francisco, a subsidiary of Amgen whose site head will be Tularik founder and chief executive Dr David Goeddel.

"We built Tularik to improve patients' lives through the creation of novel and superior medicines that regulate gene expression. Amgen supports this mission, and the combination will allow Tularik researchers to continue with the additional benefit of access to Amgen global research, development and commercialisation capabilities," Dr Goeddel said.

In May 2003 the companies entered into a five-year agreement to discover, develop, and commercialise new drugs in oncology.

As part of this agreement Amgen took a stake of approximately 20% in Tularik.

Tularik currently has five drug candidates in clinical trials. These include potential treatments for hepatocellular carcinoma, gastric and esophageal cancer, inflammatory diseases, type II diabetes and obesity.

At its first-ever R&D review meeting Amgen recently revealed that more of its product candidates have entered into clinical development during the past three years than in the previous 10 years combined.

The company, which has around 40 programmes in various stages of clinical development, is concentrating on developing drugs in inflammation, oncology, metabolic disease, osteoporosis, haematology, nephrology, and neurology.

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