Amgen Roars On Onyx Deal
Shares of Amgen and Onyx Pharmaceuticals roared higher following the announcement the two parties came to a buyout agreement. Amgen will buy Onyx for $10.4 billion, or $125 per share, a slight premium to Friday’s closing price. Shares of Onyx traded higher by more than 5.5 percent early in the session on Monday to $123.50 per share. The street liked the deal, and consequently shares of Amgen followed in Onyx’s footsteps. Shares of Amgen are up by 8.5 percent to $144.45 on strong volume.
As Amgen’s pipeline of medications begins to hit its patent cliffs, analysts hint the company may be looking to bolster its revenue streams through acquisition. Up until this point the company has lacked exposure to the cancer segment. However, through the deal Amgen will gain access to the Onyx’s three anticancer treatments.
Onyx, a successful San Francisco pharmaceutical company, has focused its attention on developing a potentially game-changing myeloma drug, Kyprolis, already approved in the United States last July as a last-resort treatment for multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer. In the first six months the drug generated $125 million in revenues. However, many analysts predict the drug will increase in popularity forearly-stage treatment over the next couple of years. Should the company win approval in Europe, and win approval to be used even earlier in the course of treatment, sales could possible reach $2 billion. Amgen will be looking to gain these approvals while leveraging its staff to develop the rest of the pipeline.
Amgen has a unique opportunity to add value to Kyprolis, a product which is at an early and promising stage of its launch,” chief executive Robert Bradway said in a press report following the announcement.
Prior to the announcement the company had 10 products on the market, including many familiar names such as Embrel. Amgen, alongside more than 100 partners, has developed a great pipeline with 45 drugs participating in Phase-1 through Phase-3 trials. This may be just the beginning for the company within the cancer space. It is possible Onyx’s patented technology can be rolled into other forms of cancer or aid in other forms of treatment.
Basis shares of Amgen still look attractive. Analysts expect the company to grow earnings-per-share by an astounding 30 percent next quarter, followed by double-digit growth over the next couple of years. At only 14 times earnings, Amgen offers the more conservative investor exposure to the hot biotechnology sector.
Disclosure: The author has no position in any of the companies mentioned, and does not intend to initiate a position in the next 72 hours.
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