Amgen and Dezima Pharma B.V. have entered into an acquisition agreement under which Amgen will acquire Dezima, a privately-held, Netherlands-based biotechnology company focused on developing innovative treatments for dyslipidemia.
"With the recent launches of Repatha (evolocumab) and Corlanor (ivabradine), and today's acquisition of Dezima, Amgen is proud to be on the leading edge of an exciting new wave of treatments for cardiovascular disease, an illness impacting millions of people worldwide," said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and CEO at Amgen.
Dezima's lead molecule is TA-8995, an oral, once-daily cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor, according to a press release. In a Phase 2b clinical trial for dyslipidemia, TA-8995 reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by 45 to 48 percent compared to baseline. LDL-C reduction was consistent when TA-8995 was administered as monotherapy or in combination with statins.
Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen will pay $300 million in cash at closing and up to $1.25 billion in additional payments if certain development and sales milestones are achieved. Low single-digit royalties will be paid on net product sales above a certain threshold.
Following the completion of the transaction, Dezima Pharma, which originally licensed rights to TA-8995 from Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (MTPC), will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Amgen. MTPC will receive from Dezima a portion of the upfront payment, future development and sales milestone payments, and royalties on net product sales if a certain threshold is reached. MTPC will also retain development and commercialization rights to TA-8995 in certain territories in Asia, including Japan.
In other company news, Amgen and Xencor Inc. announced they have entered into a research and license agreement to develop and commercialize novel therapeutics in the areas of cancer immunotherapy and inflammation. The research collaboration brings together Amgen's capabilities in target discovery and protein therapeutics with Xencor's XmAb® bispecific technology platform.
The collaboration includes molecular engineering by Xencor and the preclinical development of bispecific molecules for five programs proposed by Amgen, leveraging XmAb bispecific Fc domains to make half-life extended T cell engagers and dual targeting bispecific antibodies. The agreement also includes a preclinical bispecific T cell engager program directed at CD38 and CD3 for multiple myeloma.