Amgen Continues to Build Out Rare Disease Treatment Portfolio With $26B Horizon Acquisition

Powerhouse biotech drug developer Amgen is all set to fork over a hefty $26 billion to delve deeper into rare disease treatments with the buyout of drugmaker Horizon Therapeutics. The deal has been struck in the form of cash-for-share payments that shake out to $116.50 each for Horizon, which saw its shares surge 15% before the opening bell on the Monday following the announcement.

In fact, the Dublin, Ireland-based company’s U.S.-traded shares jumped up 30% after it confirmed preliminary discussions about potential deals with Amgen as well as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen division and French drugmaker Sanofi.

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Amgen will significantly broaden its rare disease treatment portfolio by gaining access to Horizon’s products, including its thyroid eye disease solution TEPEZZA that earned more than $1 billion in its initial year of commercialization.

TEPEZZA, easily Horizon’s best seller and which to date accounts for roughly half of the company’s total sales of $3.23 billion, has only been approved in the states for treating eye bulging and double vision in individuals with thyroid eye disease. The FDA granted it “orphan drug” status, which includes exclusive marketing and financial incentives in an effort to foster new treatment developments from drugmakers.

The Thousand Oaks, California-based Amgen previously made a bid for rare disease treatment dominance with its October acquisition of autoimmune disease drugmaker ChemoCentryx, Inc. for a reported $3.7 billion.