Amgen's Onyx Acquisition Could be Delayed

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Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ONXX) which put itself for sale and is on the lookout for potential bidders may face some delay in its endeavors. According to a report published by Bloomberg, Onyx Pharma is now faced with delays over a dispute with its potential buyer Amgen Inc. (AMGN). Though the two parties have reportedly agreed to a price, report from Bloomberg says that Amgen has asked for data from an ongoing study of Kyprolis. Onyx Pharma investors have reacted negatively to the news with the share prices falling by more than 7%.

We note that Kyprolis gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) approval in Jul 2012 for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Onyx Pharma is working on getting the drug approved in Europe. Positive results from two ongoing studies, ASPIRE (interim results due in the first/second quarter of 2014) and FOCUS (results due in the first/second quarter of 2014), are crucial for the filing of marketing application. However, the FOCUS study missed the interim analysis.

We remind investors that Onyx Pharma rejected a $120 per share takeover bid from Amgen in Jun 2013. Management at Onyx Pharma turned down the offer stating that it significantly undervalued the company. According to the Bloomberg report, Onyx Pharma is now ready to accept an offer of $130 per share in cash.

Recently, several acquisition rumors have been doing the rounds related to the Onyx Pharma takeover. Big players in the pharma space like AstraZeneca (AZN) have supposedly expressed interest in acquiring Onyx. We expect investor focus to stay on the Onyx takeover.

Onyx Pharma currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). However, companies such as Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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