Amgen to accelerate China strategy via BeiGene deal

BeiGene deal allows Amgen to parallel-track China commercialization of oncology and non-onc portfolios

Amgen is taking a hybrid approach to building out its China business that will allow it to accelerate its commercial plans in the country without biting off more than it can chew.

Through the deal with BeiGene Ltd. (NASDAQ:BGNE; HKEX:6160), announced Oct. 31, Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) can launch a two-pronged strategy in China that advances its oncology and non-oncology programs in parallel, without overextending.

Amgen already has a commercial group in place in China for its non-oncology business, which comprises treatments for chronic disease cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and autoimmune indications. In the next year, it plans to launch hypercholesterolemia drug Repatha evolocumab and osteoporosis drug Prolia denosumab. Repatha was approved in China this year, and Prolia is under review.

The BeiGene deal gives Amgen a way to jump ahead in oncology by using a local partner that brings two valuable intangibles hard to come by in China -- an established R&D network and a commercial team with experience relevant to the indications Amgen is pursuing.

“It was a very important part of the consideration for us. They’ve assembled a top notch team and we were very impressed

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