Amgen goes shopping

Expanding its drug pipeline externally, Amgen acquires Ilypsa and Alantos Pharmaceuticals for $420 million and $300 million, respectively.

Randall C Willis
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.—Expanding its drug pipeline externally, Amgen announced it has agreed to acquire Santa Clara-based renal disease specialist Ilypsa for $420 million in cash. The deal has been approved by the boards and shareholders of both companies and is expected to close in Q3 2007 following customary conditions such as regulatory approval, at which point Ilypsa would become a wholly owned subsidiary.
 
"Ilypsa and [its lead candidate] ILY101 are a strategic fit for Amgen's nephrology portfolio and further demonstrate our commitment to explore, develop, and commercialize promising therapies that help in the fight against kidney disease and its complications," says George J. Morrow, Amgen EVP Global Commercial Operations.
 
A day later, Amgen announced it would spend another $300 million to acquire Cambridge, Mass.-based Alantos Pharmaceutical, a company specializing in drugs for diabetes and inflammatory diseases. Like Ilypsa, upon close of the deal, Alantos would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Amgen. Alantos's lead compound is ALS 2-0426, a DPP-IV inhibitor in Phase IIa studies for the treatment of type II diabetes.
 
According to an February 2007 report by BCC Research, the growing global incidence of metabolic disorders such as diabetes, obesity and hypercholesterolemia should push the therapeutics market in this area past the $95 billion mark by 2011. The same report suggests that the currently small market of obesity with have the strongest growth at a CAGR of almost 24%.

Randall C Willis

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