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Amgen (AMGN) to Boost Inflammation Pipeline With Rodeo Buyout

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Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read
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Amgen Inc. AMGN announced an agreement to acquire Seattle, WA-based privately held biopharmaceutical company, Rodeo Therapeutics Corporation, which is engaged in developing small-molecule therapies designed to promote regeneration and repair of multiple tissues.

The deal will boost Amgen’s inflammation portfolio and its efforts to develop first-in-class therapeutics for patients.

Per the deal, Amgen will acquire all outstanding shares of Rodeo for an upfront payment of $55 million, as well as future contingent milestone payments potentially worth up to $666 million in cash. Rodeo's lead 15-prostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) modulators have demonstrated encouraging data in preclinical studies and have the potential to be used in across a range of therapeutic applications including inflammatory disease indications.

The transaction has been approved by the shareholders and the board of directors of Rodeo.

Shares of Amgen have rallied 8.6% so far this year against the industry’s decrease of 3.8%.

price chart for AMGN
price chart for AMGN

We note that Amgen has an encouraging history of driving growth and boosting its pipeline through deals and acquisitions. Key acquisitions in the past added Kyprolis and Blincyto to its portfolio, which have become important growth drivers for the company.

Meanwhile, in November 2019, Amgen acquired global commercial rights to Celgene’s [now part of Bristol-Myers BMY] blockbuster psoriasis drug, Otezla. The acquisition significantly strengthened its inflammation portfolio, which has also become an important growth driver.

This apart, in March 2021, Amgen announced an agreement to acquire small biotech, Five Prime Therapeutics, for $38 per share or a total equity value of approximately $1.9 billion to strengthen its oncology portfolio. The acquisition will add the latter’s lead pipeline candidate, bemarituzumab, a first-in-class, phase III ready, anti-FGFR2b antibody, to its portfolio. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2021.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Amgen currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include Nabriva Therapeutics AG NBRV and Repligen Corporation RGEN, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Nabriva Therapeutics’ loss per share estimates have narrowed 45.8% for 2021 and 50.9% for 2022, over the past 60 days.

Repligen’s earnings estimates have been revised 15.1% upward for 2021 and 9.8% upward for 2022 over the past 60 days.

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