Horizon had been in discussions with Amgen, Janssen and Sanofi with regards to a potential takeover: with Amgen now snapping up Horizon’s portfolio and new medicines in the pipeline in the biggest biotech deal of 2022.
Portfolio led by Tepezza
Horizon was founded in 2008 by CEO Tim Walbert, who was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. The Dublin-headquartered company now employs 2,000 across Europe, Canada and the US.
Full-year 2021 net sales were $3.23bn, representing year-over-year growth of 47% and a record year for the company. At the head of the company's portfolio is thyroid eye disease treatment Tepezza (teprotumamub-trbw), a fully human monoclonal antibody which doubled sales to $1.66bn in 2021.
Horizon's portfolio also includes Krystexxa, Uplizna (inebilizumab-cdon) – acquired via the acquisition of Viela Bio in 2021, Actimmune (interferon gamma-1b), Buphenyl (sodium phenylbutyrate) and Duexis (ibuprofen and famotidine).
With around 20 programs, it is eying up 10 potential approvals in the second half of the decade.
Commenting on today's announcement, Tim Walbert, chairman, president and CEO of Horizon, said: "In nearly 15 years, we have built one of the fastest growing and most respected companies in the biotechnology industry from the ground up.
“We have accomplished a tremendous amount for patients, their families and our customers, and created significant value for shareholders. These accomplishments are all rooted in our employees' deep commitment, dedication and personal passion for those impacted by rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases.
“Amgen is aligned with that commitment and passion and will continue to maximise the value of the current portfolio and pipeline and accelerate the ability to reach more patients globally."
Long-term growth plans for Amgen
California-headquartered Amgen believes that there is a ‘compelling strategic and financial rationale’ for its acquisition of Horizon.
It says the move will strengthen its portfolio by adding a complementary set of medicines in rare diseases; as well as helping Amgen capitalise on its 20-year commercial and medical legacy in inflammation and nephrology.
Amgen says it will also use its strength in R&D, process development and biologics manufacturing to develop Horizon's medicines, helping the portfolio grow globally.
In particular, it believes Tepezza has significant growth potential in key markets outside the US such as Europe and Japan, which complements Amgen's international growth strategy.
Robert A. Bradway, chairman and CEO of Amgen said: "The acquisition of Horizon is a compelling opportunity for Amgen and one that is consistent with our strategy of delivering long-term growth by providing innovative medicines that address the needs of patients who suffer from serious diseases.
“Amgen's decades of leadership in inflammation and nephrology, combined with our global presence and world-class biologics capabilities, will enable us to reach many more patients with first-in-class medicines like Tepezza, Krystexxa and Uplizna.
“Additionally, the potential new medicines in Horizon's pipeline strongly complement our own R&D portfolio. The acquisition of Horizon will drive growth in Amgen's revenue and non-GAAP EPS and is expected to be accretive from 2024."