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15
July
2020
15th July 2020
 

Amgen doubles down on BeiGene investment as Chinese biotech aims to raise $2.1B

In an eye-catching transpacific collaboration last year, Amgen poured out $2.7 billion to tap into BeiGene’s commercial and R&D expertise in China. But what if an additional equity raise diluted its stake?


 

For Amgen, the solution was simple: buy more shares to maintain its ownership percentage.


On Sunday, BeiGene said it planned to raise $2.1 billion in a direct offering of 145.8 million shares. Then, Amgen unveiled it would contribute $421 million to keep its stake in the Chinese biotech at 20.3%, on par with its previous 20.5% in shares it acquired last year.


 

“This additional investment reflects Amgen’s confidence in the progress the companies are making in their ongoing oncology collaboration in China, the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market,” the California company said in a statement.


BeiGene intends to use the money to fund its R&D programs, potential licensing deals to expand its portfolio, and its commercial activities in China and the U.S., it said in a securities filing.


The company recently lost a major source of revenue after Chinese regulators suspended the importation, sales and use of cancer drug Abraxane—which BeiGene in-licenses from Bristol Myers Squibb’s Celgene—due to manufacturing breaches. Even though BeiGene is working to restore supply from a different site, the regulatory setback has cost it a bulk procurement contract with the Chinese government.


BeiGene became a local oncology marketing powerhouse by building upon Celgene’s Chinese commercial team it acquired in 2017, a status Amgen hopes to leverage. The first milestone of that collaboration came to fruition just this month, as BeiGene began selling Amgen’s bone treatment Xgeva in China. Kyprolis and Blincyto, the other two commercial products included in the deal, are in phase 3 trials in the country.


BeiGene also needs resources for its internal assets, recently FDA-approved BTK inhibitor Brukinsa and PD-1 blocker tislelizumab. As BeiGene’s first drug outside of its home country, Brukinsa is going up against Johnson & Johnson hotshot Imbruvica and AstraZeneca’s Calquence. Tislelizumab, meanwhile, is fighting for a place in China’s crowded PD-1/L1 market, currently with go-aheads in third-line classical Hodgkin lymphoma and previously treated urothelial carcinoma. And BeiGene is eyeing the all-important front-line non-small cell lung cancer market with two recent phase 3 clinical wins.

 
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31
October
2019
31st October 2019
 

BeiGene Announces Global Strategic Oncology Collaboration with Amgen

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and BEIJING, China, Oct. 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BeiGene, Ltd. (NASDAQ: BGNE; HKEX: 06160) and Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) today announced a global strategic oncology collaboration for the commercialization and development in China of Amgen’s XGEVA® (denosumab), KYPROLIS® (carfilzomib), and BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab), and the joint global development of 20 oncology assets in Amgen’s pipeline, with BeiGene responsible for development and commercialization in China. In connection with the collaboration, Amgen will purchase a 20.5% stake in BeiGene for approximately $2.7 billion in cash at $174.85 per American Depositary Share (ADS).


“Through this collaboration, Amgen, a true biotech pioneer and leader in our industry, has recognized the transformative potential of BeiGene’s unique clinical development capabilities to accelerate global drug development. We are thrilled to join forces with Amgen to realize the development and commercialization of this broad oncology pipeline with the aim of benefitting patients around the world,” said John V. Oyler, Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman of BeiGene. “In addition, this alliance expands the portfolio available to our market-leading China commercial team, led by Dr. Xiaobin Wu, with the potential to bring as many as eight internally discovered and in-licensed innovative treatments


“This strategic collaboration with BeiGene will enable Amgen to serve significantly more patients by expanding our reach in the world’s most populous country. We’ve chosen an innovative strategic collaborator that can offer commercial and clinical reach with global quality standards,” said Robert A. Bradway, Amgen’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Cancer is a leading cause of death in China and will only become a more pressing public health issue as the Chinese population ages. We look forward to working with BeiGene to make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of cancer patients in China and around the world.”


 

 
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