Amgen to acquire Biovex
Acquisition Includes a Therapeutic in Phase 3 Clinical Trials for the Treatment of Advanced Melanoma and Head and Neck Cancer
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., and WOBURN, Mass. (Jan. 24, 2011) – Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and BioVex Group, Inc. today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive acquisition agreement under which Amgen has agreed to acquire BioVex Group, Inc., a privately held, venture-funded, biotechnology company headquartered in Woburn, Mass. BioVex is developing OncoVEXGM-CSF http://www.biovex.com/oncovex.html, a novel oncolytic vaccine in Phase 3 clinical development, that may represent a new approach to treating melanoma and head and neck cancer.
Under terms of the agreement, Amgen will pay up to $1 billion: $425 million in cash at closing and up to $575 million in additional payments upon the achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of each company. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011. Following the completion of the transaction, BioVex will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Amgen.
“OncoVex has demonstrated encouraging anti-tumor activity in clinical studies for the treatment of melanoma and head and neck cancer, and BioVex is currently enrolling patients into pivotal Phase 3 trials in both indications,” said Roger M. Perlmutter, M.D., Ph.D., Amgen’s executive vice president, Research and Development. “Amgen is particularly excited about joining with BioVex and its talented staff to focus on advancing this late-stage investigational therapy, with the hope of bringing it to market within the next few years.”
“Amgen is ideally positioned to leverage the potential of OncoVEX in multiple solid tumor indications given their impressive oncology franchise and expertise in biologics manufacturing and development,” said Philip Astley-Sparke, chief executive officer of BioVex. “We have a shared vision and commitment to bring novel therapeutics to market and we are looking forward to being able to combine our efforts towards this common goal.”
Amgen will discuss the transaction on a conference call today with the investment community at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The previously-scheduled conference call will also discuss Amgen’s fourth quarter and full year financial results. Live audio of the conference call will be simultaneously broadcast over the Internet and will be available to members of the news media, investors and the general public. The conference call, including the question and answer session, is expected to last approximately one hour.
The webcast of the conference, as with other selected presentations regarding developments in Amgen’s business given by management at certain investor and medical conferences, can be found on Amgen’s website, www.amgen.com, under Investors. Information regarding presentation times, webcast availability and webcast links are noted on Amgen’s Investor Relations Events Calendar. The webcast will be archived and available for replay for at least 72 hours after the event.
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures, and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science’s promise by bringing safe, effective medicines from lab to manufacturing plant to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease, and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people’s lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.
BioVex is a privately held biotechnology company based in Woburn, Mass. where it also has an operational commercial scale manufacturing facility. The Company is developing a new class of potent biologics for the treatment of cancer and prevention of infectious disease. In addition to OncoVEXGM-CSF http://www.biovex.com/oncovex.html, the Company has a second development program, ImmunoVEXHSV2 http://www.biovex.com/oncovex.html, a vaccine for genital herpes that is undergoing clinical testing in the United Kingdom.
OncoVEXGM-CSF http://www.biovex.com/oncovex.html is a novel therapeutic cancer vaccine with both oncolytic and immunomodulatory activities. BioVex believes OncoVEXGM-CSF http://www.biovex.com/oncovex.html has the potential to offer a breakthrough option in the treatment of many solid tumors based on the strength of clinical data so far generated coupled with the relatively benign side effect profile noted to date. Previous clinical trials have enrolled patients with breast cancer, melanoma, head and neck cancer and pancreatic cancer, with indications of clinical activity being observed in each. BioVex is currently conducting a Phase 3 study in metastatic melanoma (the OPTiM study) following the proportion of durable complete remissions in a Phase 2 study using OncoVEXGM-CSF http://www.biovex.com/oncovex.html as a stand-alone therapy. A second Phase 3 study in Head & Neck cancer commenced in December 2010. For further information, please go to www.biovex.com.
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