Analyst: Time to wrap up Amgen's $9.5B Onyx buyout
A last-minute roadblock to an Onyx ($ONXX) buyout has apparently been dismantled. Citing sources, Reuters says that the big biotech has handed over data from an ongoing study of its cancer drug Kyprolis. And ISI's Mark Schoenebaum, for one, is breathing a sigh of relief, hopeful that a deal can be completed in days.
Onyx reportedly had been understandably troubled by the demand for data from the study, which can be hard to obtain while a trial is under way. There's no word about exactly what Onyx turned over to interested bidders, but it appears to pave the way for Amgen ($AMGN) to firm up a bid of $130 a share.
A slate of pharma rivals--including AstraZeneca ($AZN)--had been mentioned as possible competitors of Amgen, which got the bidding started with an unsolicited offer of $120 a share. The hang-up about Kyprolis (carfilzomib) revolves around its approval. The FDA provided an early OK for the drug on mid-stage data from a single arm study, but made that approval contingent on final Phase III data. And no buyer wants to get caught by a nasty surprise.
"If true, this should lead to a rapid resolution of the issue ... and a deal should be near," noted Schoenebaum. "As I have stated many times in the past, my suspicion is that Amgen wanted aggregated event rate data from the ongoing phase three trials called FOCUS and ASPIRE. Such data may have included both aggregated death rates as well as safety data. Such data could be reasonably made available to AMGN, as I've argued before. My hope now (and expectation) is that we wake up this coming Monday morning to a deal announcement at about $130."
If a rival bidder comes up with a better price, though, that timeline could fall apart fast.
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