Amgen reported its second major acquisition of the month, as the Thousand Oaks-based firm announced March 30 that it will acquire Rodeo Therapeutics Corporation, a privately held biotech company based in Seattle.
The deal is worth more than $700 million, $55 million of which will be paid upfront, with up to $666 million more in cash available for future payments, contingent on the deal meeting certain milestones.
Cooley LLP acted as legal advisor to Rodeo and Gunderson Dettmer LLP acted as legal advisor to Amgen on this transaction, with no timeframe being given on when the deal would close, according to an Amgen company news release.
Rodeo develops small-molecule therapies designed to promote regeneration and repair of multiple tissues. Currently, Rodeo’s lead program is a 15-prostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) inhibitor, which Amgen believes will pair with the company’s already existing inflammation portfolio and efforts to develop new therapeutics.
“The enzyme 15-PGDH plays a key role in many disease-relevant processes such as stem cell self-renewal and epithelial barrier repair,” Raymond Deshaies, Amgen’s senior vice president of global research, said in the company news release. “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.”
The deal was announced as the markets closed March 30, with Amgen’s stock at $249.75, down 2% from the previous day’s closing. Shares for Amgen were trading at $249.57 after hours.
This deal marks the second large acquisition Amgen has announced this month. On March 4, Amgen said it was acquiring Five Prime Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech company developing stomach cancer therapies, in a deal worth $1.9 billion.
In that deal, Amgen paid a substantial 79% premium on Five Prime’s stock, agreeing to pay $38 a share when shares were being sold around $21 before the announcement.
Five Prime is developing treatments using an antibody called bemarituzumab, which targets a gene that can be found in organ tumors common in some types of gastric cancer.
According to SEC filing on the Five Prime transaction, Amgen outlasted 15 other interested suitors.
Amgen’s offer of $38 per share was much higher than any of the other interested parties.
Since that announced acquisition, Amgen’s stock has shot up more than 11%, reaching as high as $255 on March 29.