Amgen buying deCODE Genetics for $415 million

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm •  Published: December 10, 2012
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"It is not surprising that Amgen is building out this R&D capability," given that some of its key experimental drugs were identified based on human genetics work, Roden wrote.

He has a "Buy" rating for Amgen and a 12-month share price target of $96, higher than its shares have ever been and significantly above its $89.95 peak over the last year. Roden noted Amgen will use off-shore cash for the deal and will not issue debt to cover it.

The board of Amgen, based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., has approved the deal, which does not need regulatory approval. The transaction is expected to close before year's end.

"We believe Amgen's focus and ability to incorporate our genetic research into their research and development efforts will translate our discoveries into meaningful therapies for patients," Dr. Kári Stefánsson, deCODE's founder and CEO, said in a statement.

Amgen, a biotechnology pioneer since 1980, focuses on developing powerful biologic medicines — drugs produced by living cells rather than by mixing chemicals in vats — for cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease and other serious illnesses. Among its products are the anemia drugs Aranesp and Epogen, Enbrel for immune disorders and Prolia for osteoporosis.

Amgen reported sales of $15.6 billion last year and net income of $3.7 billion.

Shares of Amgen rose $1.42, or 1.6 percent, to close at $89.74 — just shy of the 52-week high of $89.95 set in mid-October.

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Linda A. Johnson can be followed at http://twitter.com/LindaJ_onPharma