Amgen to acquire experimental biotech company

Amgen said it planned to acquire BioVex, a biotech company with an experimental cancer vaccine in development to treat head and neck cancer and melanoma, for up to $1 billion.

Amgen said it planned to acquire BioVex, a biotech company with an experimental cancer vaccine in development to treat head and neck cancer and melanoma, for up to $1 billion.

Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer said that acquisition will help the company grow even as it develops its own cancer drugs. The deal, Bloomberg adds, is worth $425 million up front plus $575 in milestone payments.

The company announced the news in its earnings call, also noting that fourth-quarter profit rose nearly 10% despite slower-than-expected sales of Prolia, the osteoporosis drug approved by the FDA in mid-2010.

On Monday, Novartis said that it planned to buy Genoptix, a US-based oncology lab that focuses on cancer testing, for $470 million. The Swiss pharmaceutical company stated that the acquisition will enhance its personalized medicine business.

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