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Amgen to buy BioVex

Amgen has said it is to acquire the US-based biotech BioVex in a deal potentially worth up to $1bn

Amgen has said it is to acquire the US-based biotech BioVex in a deal potentially worth up to $1bn.

Global therapeutic research and manufacturing firm, Amgen, is to pay $425m upfront with an additional $575m available to BioVex if certain research and sales milestones are met.

The boards of directors for both companies have approved the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2011. The transaction will see BioVex become a wholly owned subsidiary of Amgen.

BioVex's portfolio includes OncoVex (GM-CSF) – an investigational vaccine to treat melanoma and head and neck cancer.

Clinical studies have seen positive results for the vaccine, with BioVex currently enrolling patients for phase III trials.

The trials will continue after the takeover, as confirmed by Roger M Perlmutter, executive vice president, R&D, Amgen: "Amgen is particularly excited about joining with BioVex and its talented staff to focus on advancing this late-stage investigational therapy, with the hope of bringing it to market within the next few years."

Philip Astley-Sparke, CEO, BioVex, also praised the agreement: "Amgen is ideally positioned to leverage the potential of OncoVEX in multiple solid tumour indications given their impressive oncology franchise and expertise in biologics manufacturing and development."

25th January 2011

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