Amgen buys Horizon Therapeutics in $27.8B megadeal

Dec. 12, 2022

A few weeks ago, Horizon Therapeutics revealed that it was in early talks with three pharma giants for a potential takeover offer. Today, the rare disease drugmaker announced that Amgen has agreed to acquire the company for $27.8 billion. 

Before Amgen made the winning bid, Horizon was in conversations with Janssen and Sanofi as well but said then that there was "no certainty that any offer will be made.” Now, an SEC filing is making it official and Amgen has agreed to pay $116.50 per share, in a megadeal that gives the biopharma access to Horizon’s lead thyroid eye disease drug, Tepezza, which won FDA approval in early 2020.

Tepezza is the first drug approved in the U.S. for the treatment of thyroid eye disease. The condition is characterized by outward bulging of the eye and can cause a variety of symptoms such as eye pain, double vision, light sensitivity, or difficulty closing the eye. Although it affects a small number of individuals, it can be incapacitating and impair people’s ability to perform daily activities such as driving or working. The drug is an insulin-like monoclonal antibody growth factor-1 receptor inhibitor, which blocks IGF-1R activation signaling, helping to decrease inflammation. Horizon expects global sales for Tepezza to reach over $4 billion. 

Aside from Tepezza Amgen is also getting its hands on Horizon’s Krystexxa and Uplizna, for the treatment of Gout and neuromyelitis optic spectrum disorder, respectively. The acquisition represents a premium of approximately 47.9% to the closing price of $78.76 per share on November 29, 2022.  The companies expect the definitive merger to go int effect in the first half of 2023. 

The buy is the largest M&A deal of the year and a big win for Amgen. Back in August, Amgen agreed to acquire ChemoCentryx for $3.7 billion in cash, grabbing a recently-approved rare immune-system disease drug with blockbuster potential.