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Amgen buys Horizon Therapeutics for $26.4 billion, expanding stake in rare disease market

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | December 19, 2022
Business Affairs European News
Amgen has paid $26.4 billion to acquire Horizon Therapeutics.
Biotech drug producer Amgen will acquire Horizon Therapeutics for $26.4 billion, expanding its presence further in the rare disease treatment market.

Based in Dublin, Ireland, Horizon develops treatments for rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases, including Tepezza for eye bulging and double vision caused by thyroid eye disease. The FDA approved it in 2020 as the first treatment for the condition, and it is only approved for use in the U.S.

Under the FDA, Tepezza has orphan drug status, which includes financial incentives and exclusive marketing to encourage drugmakers to develop rare disease treatments. It generated more than $1 billion in its first full year on the market, and sales more than doubled last year to $1.67 billion, about half of Horizon’s $3.23 billion in total sales.

Amgen, which is located near Los Angeles, said on November 12 that it will pay $116.50 in cash for each share of Horizon, causing the latter’s shares to jump 15%, according to CNBC.

Amgen will facilitate the deal through its wholly-owned private limited company, PillarTree Limited, which will act as the acquirer sub.

The acquisition represents an approximate 48% premium to Horizon’s closing price of $78.76 prior to announcing in late November that it was in “highly preliminary discussions” with Amgen, Sanofi, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen division, according to CNBC. Its shares rose 30% after this.

Horizon also manufactures Krystexxa for uncontrolled gout and Uplizna for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), which affects the optic nerves and spinal cord.

Amgen expects to obtain regulatory approvals under the Irish business code by the first half of 2023.

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