Amgen has entered into an agreement with Celgene Corporation in connection with its previously announced merger with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company to acquire worldwide rights to Otezla (apremilast), the only oral, non-biologic treatment for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and certain related assets and liabilities, for $13.4 billion in cash, or approximately $11.2 billion, net of the present value of $2.2 billion in anticipated future cash tax benefits. Amgen believes that the acquisition of Otezla offers many benefits.
"The acquisition of Otezla offers a unique opportunity for Amgen to provide patients an innovative oral therapy for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis that fits squarely within our portfolio and complements our Enbrel and AMGEVITA brands," said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen. "We will take advantage of our 20 years of experience in inflammatory disease to realize the full global potential of Otezla as an affordable option for patients with these serious, chronic inflammatory conditions."
Otezla is currently approved for three indications in the US—the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy; adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis; and adult patients with oral ulcers associated with Behçet's Disease. Otezla is approved in more than 50 markets outside the U.S., including the European Union and Japan, and has patent exclusivity through at least 2028 in the U.S.
Sales of Otezla in 2018 were $1.6 billion driven by strong volume growth. Amgen has stated previously that it will focus on medicines that can deliver sustained, long-term volume driven growth and the Company believes there is a significant opportunity to grow Otezla through global expansion and new indications, with expectations for Otezla to realize at least low double-digit sales growth, on average, over the next five years.
The closing of the acquisition is contingent on Bristol-Myers Squibb entering into a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission in connection with the pending Celgene merger, the closing of the pending merger with Celgene, and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019.
"Otezla represents an exciting opportunity to strengthen Amgen's presence in inflammation and continue Amgen's geographic expansion," said Bradway. "We are excited about the opportunity that Otezla represents for Amgen, for our shareholders, and for patients worldwide, and we look forward to welcoming those staff members who support Otezla to the Amgen family."
Dyal Co. LLC is acting as the lead financial advisor to Amgen. Goldman Sachs & Co. is serving as a financial advisor and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is serving as legal advisor to Amgen.