Sources say Amgen, Onyx Pharmaceuticals takeover talks rest on Kyprolis data

According to people close to the matter, Amgen's proposed acquisition of Onyx Pharmaceuticals is stalled over data-access issues related to a study of the latter's multiple myeloma therapy Kyprolis (carfilzomib), Bloomberg reported Thursday. The sources said both parties reached a general agreement on price, and if the dispute over data access can be resolved, a deal could be completed quickly.

Last month, Onyx said it is seeking a potential buyer after the company rejected an unsolicited takeover proposal from Amgen for $120 per share in cash. Amgen has reportedly increased its offer to $130 per share, or nearly $9.5 billion, which the sources suggested Onyx is prepared to accept.

However, one of the people said Amgen is seeking further data from a study designed to secure European approval of Kyprolis in order to help it value the product. According to Onyx, results from the trial are expected to be released in the first half of next year. Analysts estimate that Kyprolis, which was approved by the FDA last year, may generate annual sales of $2.4 billion by 2019.

Amgen spokeswoman Christine Regan said the company "does not comment on market rumours," while Onyx spokeswoman Lori Melancon declined to comment on the matter.

Last week, Onyx CEO N. Anthony Coles said the company is involved in talks with various companies about a possible takeover, without providing further details. Earlier reports cited AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Novartis as potential buyers, although people familiar with the situation recently said Pfizer and Novartis have withdrawn from the bidding process.

For related analysis, read In Focus: A year to remember – How Onyx transformed its M&A credentials.

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