US-based Amgen has agreed to acquire Celgene’s psoriasis drug Otezla (apremilast) and certain related assets and liabilities for $13.4bn (£10.9bn) in cash.
Otezla is being divested in connection with the ongoing regulatory approval process for the pending merger between Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene.
The deal may also be valued about $11.2bn (£9.14bn), net of the present value of $2.2bn (£1.79bn) in anticipated future cash tax benefits.
In January this year, Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to acquire Celgene in a cash-cum-stock deal worth around $74bn (£60.4bn).
The merger of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene is expected to result in a speciality biopharma company, which is expected to develop high-value innovative medicines to meet the needs of patients with cancer, inflammatory and immunologic disease and cardiovascular disease.
Claimed to be the only oral and non-biologic treatment for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, Otezla is a major treatment in the post-topical, pre-biologic segment in its approved indications.
Otezla is an oral small-molecule inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) specific for cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).
At present, Otezla has approval for three indications in the US, including for the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy.
It is also approved to treat adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis; and adult patients with oral ulcers associated with Behçet’s Disease. Otezla was approved in over 50 markets outside the US, including the European Union and Japan.
Subject to closing of the pending merger between Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene and other customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Amgen chairman and CEO Robert Bradway said: “The acquisition of Otezla offers a unique opportunity for Amgen to provide patients an innovative oral therapy for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis that fits squarely within our portfolio and complements our Enbrel® and AMGEVITA® brands.
“We will take advantage of our 20 years of experience in inflammatory disease to realize the full global potential of Otezla as an affordable option for patients with these serious, chronic inflammatory conditions.”