November 26, 2022
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Amgen to buy ChemoCentryx for $3.7B

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Amgen was having a relatively quiet year on the mergers and acquisitions front, at least until Aug. 4, when the Thousand Oaks-based biotech firm announced it will purchase ChemoCentryx for nearly $3.7 billion.

ChemoCentryx is a Silicon Valley biopharmaceutical company focused on orally administered therapeutics to treat autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders and cancer. It has one approved drug, Tavneos, a treatment for serious and rare autoimmune disorders, which topped $5 million in sales in its first quarter on the market.

Amgen will pay $52 per share for ChemoCentryx, which trades publicly on the Nasdaq. Shares of the company closed at $24.11 on Aug. 3, which means Amgen is paying about a 110% premium. ChemoCentryx shares more than doubled after the deal was announced and were trading at a little above $50 by the afternoon of Aug. 4.

Shares of Amgen were flat after the deal was announced, opening at $247 on Aug. 4 and trading within a dollar of that amount for most of the day.

“The acquisition of ChemoCentryx represents a compelling opportunity for Amgen to add to our decades-long leadership in inflammation and nephrology with Tavneos, a transformative, first-in-class treatment for ANCA-associated vasculitis,” Robert A. Bradway, chairman and CEO at Amgen, said in a news release announcing the deal. “We are excited to join in the Tavneos launch and help many more patients with this serious and sometimes life-threatening disease for which there remains significant unmet medical need.”

Tavneos is an orally administered treatment that helps adult patients with severe active ANCA-associated vasculitis. ANCA-associated vasculitis is an umbrella term for a group of multi-system autoimmune diseases with small vessel inflammation. Inflamed vessels may rupture or become occluded, leading to dysfunctions in organs such as kidneys or lungs.

The treatment was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October and in its first quarter, generated sales worth $5.4 million.

Amgen would be adding the drug to an existing portfolio of inflammation treatment including Otezla, Tespire and Enbrel, all top sellers for Amgen. Some of those drugs, such as Enbrel, have lost market share to generic biosimilars in recent years.

In addition to Tavneos, ChemoCentryx has three early-stage drug candidates that target chemoattractant receptors in other inflammatory diseases and an oral checkpoint inhibitor for cancer.

PJT Partners acted as financial advisor to Amgen on the deal, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as its legal advisor. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor to ChemoCentryx, and Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as its legal advisor.