Amgen Buys Alantos

The biotech will pay $300 million in cash for the privately held drugmaker.
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said Wednesday that it agreed to acquire Alantos, a privately held biopharmaceutical company, for $300 million in cash.

According to Amgen, both boards and also the shareholders of Alantos, which develops drugs for the treatment of diabetes and inflammatory diseases, have approved the acquisition. Alantos will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amgen. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Alantos initiated phase IIa studies in May for its lead drug candidate, an orally administered treatment for type II diabetes. It partnered with French pharmaceutical company Servier for the studies.

"We are pleased to add this clinical stage DPP-IV inhibitor to our growing portfolio of therapeutics for the treatment of metabolic diseases," said Dr. Roger Perlmutter, Amgen's executive vice president for research and development. He said Amgen plans to pursue the program with hopes of also bringing a disease-modifying therapy into the clinic for osteoarthritis.

Shares of Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen were down 40 cents, or 0.7%, at $57.21 in recent morning trading.