About the deal:
Amgen has entered into a definitive agreement with GlaxoSmithKline plc. Under this agreement, Amgen will regain all remaining rights to its bone drugs Prolia and Xgeva as well as cancer drug Vectibix in 48 countries including Asia, South America, Europe, Australia and other regions over the world. The deal includes countries which Amgen perceives as key markets for expansion, such as Brazil, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Israel, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
Notably, Glaxo had owned select regional rights to Prolia and Xgeva since 2009 and to Vectibix since 2010. It had generated about $111 million in combined sales in 2014 by licensing the drugs from Amgen.
Under this deal, Amgen will make milestone payments to Glaxo upon signing and later, on successful transition of the products to itself. Post the switch, Amgen will book all sales for the drugs. While majority of the markets will be shifted back to Amgen over a 12-month period, Glaxo will continue to hold the license for as well as sell and distribute the products for an interim transition period that will vary according to countries.
Why this deal?
While the revenue from those regional licenses is small compared with Amgen’s $20 billion in sales last year, the company is seeking to use build off of those brands as it prepares to introduce new medications such as osteoporosis drug romosozumab, which is in a final-stage trial, and Blincyto, a blood cancer drug recently approved in Europe.
The latest deal with Glaxo is in line with Amgen’s strategy to expand its presence in international markets which have significant commercial potential. It would further provide the company with a platform to introduce new treatments targeting important therapeutic areas such as oncology and bone health.
About Prolia & Xgeva
Denosumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody for the treatment of osteoporosis, treatment-induced bone loss, bone metastases, and giant cell tumor of bone. It was developed by the biotechnology company Amgen.
In June 2010, denosumab was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in postmenopausal women with risk of osteoporosis under the trade name Prolia, and in November 2010, as Xgeva, for the prevention of skeleton-related events in patients with bone metastases from solid tumors. Denosumab is the first RANKL inhibitor to be approved by the FDA.
Panitumumab, formerly ABX-EGF, is a fully human monoclonal antibody specific to the epidermal growth factor receptor (also known as EGF receptor, EGFR, ErbB-1 and HER1 in humans).
Panitumumab is manufactured by Amgen and marketed as Vectibix. It was originally developed by Abgenix Inc.