Amgen completes Horizon acquisition

Oct. 6, 2023

After months of back and forth with the FTC, Amgen has completed its $27.8 billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics.

The buy adds first-in-class medicines such as Tepezza, Krystexxa and Uplizna to Amgen's inflammation portfolio.

Tepezza, approved in 2020 for thyroid eye disease, and Krystexxa, approved for gout in 2010, were central to the FTC's anticompetitive claims. When the FTC filed its lawsuit back in May to block the transaction, the agency said the proposed deal would allow Amgen to use rebates on its existing blockbuster drugs to pressure insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers into favoring Horizon’s two key drugs — Tepezza and Krystexxa — neither of which have market competition.

The FTC finally gave its blessing to the deal back in September, after Amgen agreed to a settlement the watchdog said would prohibit the drugmaker from leveraging its drug portfolio to disadvantage rivals. Under the settlement terms, Amgen is barred from bundling its products with Horizon's Tepezza or Krystexxa and from using product rebates or contract terms to disadvantage competitor products.

Delays caused by the FTC's scrutiny of the deal, first announced last December, has caused the pharma industry to take up arms.

Earlier this week, over 30 life sciences organizations banned together to oppose the FTC’s new approach to antitrust enforcement, launching the Partnership for the U.S. Life Science Ecosystem (PULSE). The new coalition, which include drug giants such as Amgen, Gilead, Merck, AbbVie and Novartis, seeks to raise awareness of "the importance of M&A in leveraging efficiency and experience" to advance next-gen treatments for patients.