Amgen Continues Acquisition Run with $3.7 Billion ChemoCentryx Purchase

In the latest in a series of acquisitions, multinational biopharmaceutical behemoth Amgen has announced it will purchase ChemoCentryx in a $3.7 billion deal that will advance its position in the world of anti-inflammatory medications.

Last year, the FDA approved ChemoCentryx’s drug Tavneos, its first commercial product in its 25-year history. The medication treats a rare autoimmune disease called anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis, in which damage to small blood vessels can cause organ failures, especially in the kidney.

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The acquisition will add Tavneos to Amgen’s roster of anti-inflammatory treatments, including Otezla and Enbrel, both of which may be poised for potential struggles. Otezla faces competition from Bristol-Myers Squibb’s deucravacitinib, and Enbrel could lose U.S. patent protection sometime after 2025.

Also, Amgen’s bone medications Prolia and Xgeva are nearing a 2025 patent cliff, and its cholesterol drug Repatha and migraine therapeutic Aimovig are confronting increased competition, according to Fierce Pharma.

In response, Amgen last year bought Five Prime Therapeutics for $1.9 billion, Teneobio for $900 million upfront, and Rodeo Therapeutics for $55 million upfront.

“At this point, we do not have conviction that the existing pipeline will offset [loss of exclusivity] declines, and we believe Amgen needs to continue to pursue M&A to enhance its internal portfolio,” SVB Securities analysts wrote in a May note.

The ChemoCentryx acquisition, with Tavneos’ unadjusted global sales potential at over $2 billion by 2030, is “a meaningful step” toward filling the upcoming revenue gap, the SVB team wrote. The company also has three early-stage drug candidates that target ulcerative colitis and skin conditions and an oral immune checkpoint inhibitor for cancer.