12:00 AM
 | 
Jan 30, 2012
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Amgen swallows BiTEs

Persistent Amgen persuades Micromet to sell; gains bispecific antibody platform

Amgen Inc. has been interested in acquiring Micromet Inc. for a long time, and finally got the biotech to agree, six months after the companies tested the waters with a discovery and development deal using the smaller biotech's BiTE antibody technology.

The attraction for Amgen was a Phase II compound with evidence of efficacy in a new indication, and the prospect of applying its own capabilities and resources to expand the BiTE platform to new areas. But according to Amgen EVP of R&D Roger Perlmutter, Micromet wasn't biting - at least at first.

Details of the discussions have not been disclosed, and Micromet is not saying what made it change its tune. But the companies agreed to an $11 per share takeout price, valuing Micromet at $1.2 billion based on fully diluted shares and warrants. This was a 33% premium to the stock's close at $8.28 on Jan. 25, before the deal was announced, when Micromet's market cap was $764.9 million.

"In terms of the components of value, the alignment with Micromet is exceedingly good. They have a rare asset with blinatumomab that has already shown efficacy in patient populations that have exhausted all options," Perlmutter told BioCentury. "At the same time, this asset shows the utility of the BiTE platform."

Bispecific T cell engager (BiTE) antibodies bring together an immune effector cell and a target cell by linking the epitope recognition...

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