(By Balaseshan) Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), a biotechnology medicines company, said it has agreed to buy Reykjavik, Iceland-based human genetics pioneer deCODE Genetics for $415 million in cash.
The all-cash transaction was unanimously approved by the Amgen Board of Directors. Founded in 1996, deCODE Genetics is a global pioneer in analyzing and understanding the link between the genome and disease susceptibility.
Using its unique expertise and access to a well-defined population in Iceland, deCODE Genetics has discovered genetic risk factors for dozens of diseases ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer.
"deCODE has built a world-class capability in the study of the genetics of human disease. This capability will enhance our efforts to identify and validate human disease targets. 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," said Robert Bradway, president and CEO at Amgen.
This transaction does not require regulatory approval, and is expected to close before the end of 2012.
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and markets medicines for illnesses. It focuses solely on human therapeutics and concentrates on medicines based on cellular and molecular biology. It markets recombinant protein therapeutics in supportive cancer care, inflammation and nephrology.
In addition to Amgen's marketed products, it has product candidates in mid- to late-stage development in a range of therapeutic areas, including oncology, hematology, inflammation, bone health, nephrology, cardiovascular and general medicine, which includes neuroscience.
AMGN closed Friday's regular session at $88.32. The stock has been trading between $57.14 and $89.95 for the past 52 weeks.