Healthcare Business News

Amgen to buy genetics research firm in Iceland for $415 million

By Jaimy Lee
Posted: December 10, 2012 - 11:45 am ET

Amgen, a Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based biotechnology firm, said it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire DeCode Genetics, a biopharmaceutical company in Reykjavik, Iceland, that focuses on human genetics research, in a $415 million cash deal.

The transaction is expected to close this year and does not require regulatory approval, according to a news release. Amgen's board has approved the deal.

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“This fits perfectly with our objective to pursue rapid development of relevant molecules that reach the right disease targets while avoiding investments in programs based on less well-validated targets,” Amgen President and CEO Robert Bradway said in the release.

DeCode Genetics CEO Dr. Kari Stefansson said in the release that the deal, which will allow Amgen to incorporate DeCode's genetic research into its own research and development, is expected to lead to new therapies.

The acquisition is the third that Amgen has announced this year. It has purchased German biotechnology company Micromet for about $1.16 billion and Kai Pharmaceuticals, a South San Francisco, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company, for $315 million in cash.

Amgen, a developer and maker of medicines, reported $15.6 billion in total revenue last year and employs about 17,000 people. DeCode Genetics has been owned by Saga Investments since 2010.

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