) recently entered into an agreement with Servier, a
privately-run French research-based pharmaceutical company.
The collaboration, which focuses on cardiovascular diseases,
will see Amgen making an upfront payment of $50 million. Amgen
gained US commercial rights to Servier's ivabradine, a novel oral
drug. Ivabradine is currently approved in the EU under the trade
name, Procoralan, for chronic heart failure and stable angina in
patients with elevated heart rates. It is approved in more than
100 other countries apart from the US.
Amgen also has an exclusive option for the US development and
commercialization of another cardiovascular disease candidate in
Servier's pipeline, S38844. S38844 is currently in phase II
studies for the treatment of heart failure.
Meanwhile, Servier gained European commercialization rights to
omecamtiv mecarbil, which is being developed by Amgen in
). Omecamtiv mecarbil, which is being evaluated for the treatment
of heart failure, is currently in a phase II study in patients
with left ventricular systolic dysfunction, who are hospitalized
with acute heart failure.
Amgen and Servier can exercise their options for S38844 and
omecamtiv mecarbil, respectively, up to the completion of phase
Financial details regarding the S38844 and omecamtiv mecarbil
part of the deal were not disclosed. As far as ivabradine is
concerned, Servier will be entitled to milestone and royalty
payments in addition to the above-mentioned $50 million upfront
With the Servier deal, Amgen is looking to strengthen its
cardiovascular pipeline. Amgen has been signing several deals
this year. These include the expansion of the company's
collaboration with Cytokinetics and the signing of agreements
) and Zhejiang Beta Pharma Co., Ltd. for Japan and China,
respectively. Amgen was also in the news related to its offer to
). Amgen currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
At present, Cytokinetics looks well-positioned with a Zacks
Rank #2 (Buy).
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