Amgen settles with FTC on $27.8-billion Horizon takeover

Amgen settles with FTC on $27.8-billion Horizon takeover

Amgen can transfer ahead with its $27.8-billion takeover of Horizon Therapeutics after the U.S. Federal Commerce Fee stated Friday that it had accepted a binding settlement that the mixed firm gained’t bundle collectively two of Horizon’s blockbuster medication.

The acquisition — Amgen’s largest ever — was introduced in December and the FTC sued in Might, its first federal court docket problem to a pharmaceutical deal since 2009. The settlement will keep away from an injunction listening to that was set to start Sept. 13 in Chicago federal court docket.

Horizon shares rose 2.9% in premarket buying and selling on the information. Seagen, whose deal to be purchased by Pfizer can also be beneath FTC evaluation, rose 2.4% in premarket buying and selling.

In an announcement, Amgen stated it should shortly search the ultimate approvals required beneath Irish legislation and anticipates closing the deal later this 12 months.

The FTC beneath Chair Lina Khan has challenged quite a few high-profile mergers and has struggled in court docket lately, dropping instances to dam a Meta Platforms acquisition and Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal. The Amgen settlement is the second the company has accepted within the wake of these defeats.

“At this time’s proposed decision sends a transparent sign that the FTC and its state companions will scrutinize pharmaceutical mergers that allow such practices, and defend sufferers and competitors on this very important market,” Henry Liu, the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competitors, stated in a assertion.

Beneath the phrases of the deal, Amgen stated it wouldn’t bundle its medication with Horizon’s monopoly drugs Tepezza, used to deal with thyroid eye illness, and Krystexxa, for power refractory gout. The corporate agreed to not purchase any extra remedies for these illnesses with out prior approval from the fee. It additionally agreed to a monitor for the following 15 years who will oversee all contracts with insurers associated to protection of the 2 medication.

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In a separate assertion, the FTC’s Khan stated the company agreed to a settlement on this case as a result of it concerned so-called orphan medication — remedies for uncommon medical situations which might be regulated in a different way — and will probably be simple to observe.

The FTC will “proceed to problem illegal practices that elevate drug costs, inhibit entry, stifle innovation or in any other case damage sufferers,” she stated.

The FTC had argued in its go well with to dam the Amgen deal that it could entrench Horizon’s monopoly on the medication, which don’t face competitors. In 2022, these two drugs resulted in about $2.69 billion in income for Horizon, in accordance with firm filings.

Amgen has 27 authorized medication, together with blockbuster remedies comparable to Enbrel for rheumatoid arthritis and Otezla for psoriasis.

The FTC and European antitrust authorities are additionally reviewing Pfizer’s Seagen acquisition, one of many largest offers of the 12 months. The U.S. company opened an in-depth probe of that deal in July.

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