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Amgen plans acquisition of Rodeo Therapeutics

Deal could be worth over $700m including potential future milestone payments

Amgen has agreed to acquire US-based biopharma company Rodeo Therapeutics to strengthen its anti-inflammatory portfolio.

Amgen will pay $55m upfront, as well as potential future milestone payments worth up to an additional $666m, to gain control of Rodeo’s prostaglandin-targeting assets.

That includes Rodeo’s lead 15-prostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PDGH) blocking modulators that have yielded ‘compelling’ in preclinical studies. They have also demonstrated clinical potential in multiple indications, according to Amgen.

"The enzyme 15-PGDH plays a key role in many disease-relevant processes such as stem cell self-renewal and epithelial barrier repair,” said Raymond Deshaies, senior vice president of global research at Amgen.

“Given the encouraging preclinical data to date, we are excited about the opportunity to develop a novel therapy with potential in a range of important inflammatory disease indications," he added.

"We are thrilled that Amgen recognises the potential value and differentiated profile of our 15-PGDH inhibitor programme,” said Thong Q. Le, president and chief executive officer of Rodeo.

“With decades of experience in developing, manufacturing and commercialising innovative therapies for patients suffering from a broad range of immunologic diseases and conditions, Amgen is ideally positioned to rapidly advance our programme into the clinic,” he added.

In March, Amgen struck another, costlier deal to acquire Five Prime Therapeutics for $1.9bn, in a bid to bolster its oncology pipeline.

Following the acquisition, Amgen will gain Five Prime’s pipeline of immuno-oncology assets – including the potentially first-in-class anti-FGFR2b antibody bemarituzumab.

Bemarituzumab has already demonstrated positive results in a phase 2 trial in first-line advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer.

Earlier this year, Amgen also entered into a licence and collaboration agreement with Evoq Therapeutics to develop novel drugs for autoimmune disorders.

Although not many details of the deal have been made public, Evoq said in a statement that it will collaborate on preclinical development for the novel treatments – while Amgen will retain responsibility for clinical development and commercialisation.

Under the terms of the deal, Amgen will gain exclusive rights to ‘selected’ autoimmune programmes for a sum totalling more than $240m. This includes upfront and milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties on sales of resulting therapies.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

31st March 2021

From: Sales

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