Los Angeles Business Journal

Amgen to Buy Cancer Drug Developer for $1 Billion

By Deborah Crowe Originally published January 26, 2012 at 10:45 a.m., updated January 26, 2012 at 2 p.m.

Amgen Inc. on Thursday said that it signed an agreement to acquire Micromet Inc., a Maryland cancer drug developer with no products yet on the market, for nearly $1.16 billion.

The Thousand Oaks biotech giant said that Micromet, which is based in Rockville, brings to the company several promising cancer drugs now being tested to treat serious cancers of the blood. The deal boosts the experimental drug pipeline of Amgen, which last year reduced its research and development staff by 6 percent.

The company’s lead drug candidate “will serve as an important complement to our oncology pipeline and is representative of our corporate strategy, which is focused on developing and successfully commercializing therapeutics to treat patients with grievous illness,” said Chief Executive Kevin Sharer in a statement.

Amgen will pay Micromet shareholders $11 a share, about a third higher than its shares were trading at prior to the announcement. The companies expect the deal to close in the first quarter.

Shares closed down $1.13, or 1 percent, to $68.08 on the Nasdaq.