Los Angeles Business Journal

Amgen to Partner with AstraZeneca on Inflammatory Drugs

By Deborah Crowe Monday, April 2, 2012

Amgen Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc said late Monday that they will jointly develop and sell five experimental, antibody-based drugs from Amgen's inflammation portfolio.

Under the collaboration, the London drugmaker will make an upfront payment of $50 million to the Thousand Oaks biotech. The companies will share costs and profits on the drugs, which are being studied for treatment of autoimmune and respiratory diseases.

The collaboration not only will provide money for Amgen to develop these and other drugs in its portfolio, but also gives the company access to AstraZeneca's expertise in developing respiratory, inflammation and asthma drugs. For AstraZeneca, the deal potentially will bolster its own product offerings.

“We are very excited at the prospect of collaborating with a well-respected organization like AstraZeneca to advance our inflammation pipeline," Chief Executive Kevin Sharer said in a statement. "We believe this collaboration has the potential to bring more therapies to patients sooner, across more geographic areas.”

The announcement was made after the markets closed. Amgen shares closed up 14 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $68.11 on the Nasdaq.