February 23, 2024

FTC sues to block Amgen's acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday sued Blocking Amgen’s $27.8 billion takeover horizon therapy.

Shares of Horizon were down 15% in early trading. Shares of Amgen fell about 1%.

The FTC argued that the deal would allow Amgen to “use its blockbuster drug portfolio to solidify” a monopoly on two of Horizon’s drugs: thyroid eye disease treatment Tepezza and gout drug Krystexxa.

Neither drug has any competition in the pharmaceutical market, the agency noted.

“Today’s action—the FTC’s first challenge to a pharmaceutical industry merger in recent memory—sends a clear signal to the market that the FTC will not hesitate to challenge those who make pharmaceutical conglomerates at the expense of consumers and fairness. Mergers that consolidate their monopoly positions at the expense of competition,” FTC Competition Director Holly Vedova said in a release.

Amgen is prepared to defend the acquisition, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC’s David Faber earlier Tuesday, with one source adding that the company expects to “win big.”

Representatives for Amgen and Horizon Therapeutics did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. Bloomberg Earlier reports said the lawsuit could come on Tuesday.

Robert Galbraith | Reuters

The two drugmakers said in February that the FTC sent them second request Obtain information on acquisitions as part of the agency’s review of deals.

Amgen, headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California reached an agreement acquired Horizon Therapeutics in early December and said it expects to complete the sale in the first half of this year.

The move is to bolster Amgen’s drug portfolio as it prepares to face Multiple patents expire Key treatments for the next decade.

which includes a patent Medications for psoriasisan autoimmune disease that causes skin inflammation.

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Ireland-based Horizon will bolster Amgen’s drug offering by treating rare autoimmune diseases and serious inflammatory diseases.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Jan. express concern About the deal’s potential impact on competition in the drug market.

The Indivior and Opiant acquisition and then-proposed merger could “lead to further price increases for life-saving drugs and prevent affordable alternatives from entering the market,” Warren said. written in a letter FTC Chairman Lina Khan and two of the agency’s commissioners.

She called on the FTC to “vigorously scrutinize” both deals. The Indivior and Opiant deal later ended.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Indivior.