Kirin Holdings to withdraw from 30 year venture with Amgen, sell shares for $780m

pharmafile | October 31, 2017 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Amgen, Kirin, joint venture, pharma 

Japanese firm Kirin Holdings has announced its intention to withdraw from a joint research collaboration with Amgen, saying it would sell its 50% share in the partnership for $780 million.

The joint venture has existed since 1984, originally as a means to develop the kidney disease treatment Epogen, before encompassing a wider range of drugs including the white blood cell-boosters Neupogen and Neulasta.

The move by Kirin makes Amgen the sole shareholder, meaning the California-based company will retain all product rights and remaining cash held by the venture, while its existing licensing agreements across Asia will also stay in place. Once its stake is sold, Kirin said it will continue to receive payments from the joint venture for specific sales.

“Our historic partnership with Kirin played a pivotal role in the growth of Amgen from a small, venture-backed start-up to one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies,” said Robert A Bradway, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Amgen. “I would like to thank Kirin for more than three decades of partnership, which has enabled us to reach patients suffering from serious illness around the world with meaningful therapies. We look forward to continuing what has been Amgen’s longest-running collaboration through our ongoing relationship with KHK.”

Amgen will receive financial advice from Goldman Sachs on the transaction, which is due to close before the end of 2017 or in the first quarter of 2018.

Matt Fellows

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