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31 March, 2021 - 10:47 By Tony Quested

Amgen rides big bucks bronco in $720m Rodeo acquisition

Amgen Inc. which has major R & D capability at Cambridge Science Park, has agreed to acquire Rodeo Therapeutics – a privately held biopharma company based in Seattle – that develops small-molecule therapies designed to promote regeneration and repair of multiple tissues. 

Rodeo's 15-PGDH program is a strong strategic fit with Amgen's inflammation portfolio and efforts to develop first-in-class therapeutics for patients.

Amgen has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Rodeo in exchange for a $55 million upfront payment as well as future contingent milestone payments potentially worth up to an additional $666m in cash. 

Rodeo is focused on developing first-in-class, orally available modulators of prostaglandin biology that play an important role in tissue regeneration and repair. 

Rodeo's lead 15-prostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) modulators have generated compelling data in extensive preclinical studies and have clinical potential in multiple indications.

Raymond Deshaies, senior VP of global research at Amgen, said: “The enzyme 15-PGDH plays a key role in many disease-relevant processes such as stem cell self-renewal and epithelial barrier repair. 

“Given the encouraging preclinical data to date, we are excited about the opportunity to develop a novel therapy with potential in a range of important inflammatory disease indications.”

Thong Q. Le, president and chief executive officer of Rodeo added: “We are thrilled that Amgen recognises the potential value and differentiated profile of our 15-PGDH inhibitor program.

“With decades of experience in developing, manufacturing and commercialising innovative therapies for patients suffering from a broad range of immunologic diseases and conditions, Amgen is ideally positioned to rapidly advance our program into the clinic.”

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