Amgen and Celgene , looking to boost oncology offerings, announced separate deals for small biotech companies Thursday, the latest in what analysts expect to be a major wave of biotech mergers.
Amgen is buying Micromet for $1.16 billion at a 33 percent premium to its market price.
Micromet has several cancer drugs in development, including a specific compound for leukemia that the company has in a late-stage trial. Analysts say this is a worthwhile acquisition for Amgen as the biotech firm has been looking for ways to strengthen its position in oncology.
There have been four biotech deals already this year. Analysts expect the merger wave to continue and to specifically target companies with phase II or III drugs in the pipeline. They are of special interest to the bigger pharmaceutical companies, which have strong cash flow but not much in their own research pipelines and older drugs coming off patent.
Some companies that the street has identified as possible acquisition targets include Idenix Pharmaceuticals , BioMarin Pharmaceuticals , Pharmacyclics and Achillion Pharmaceuticals . All of these smaller biotech names have promising drugs in trial that could yield high profitability.Page 1 of 2 | Next Page