Horizon Therapeutics-Amgen deal could end third quarter if FTC block fails

Robert Galbraith | Reuters

Therapeutic Horizon expects its $27.8 billion sale Amgen to close as early as the end of the third quarter, earlier than expected – if the Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to block the deal fails – according to a document filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The FTC filed a lawsuit in federal court in Illinois on Tuesday to try to stop the acquisition, arguing it would “stifle competition” in the pharmaceutical industry.

Horizon’s new SEC filing indicates that the deal could close by “the end of the third quarter or the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2023” if a federal court rejects the FTC’s request by September 15. The companies have agreed not to complete the acquisition before that date or the second business day. after the court has ruled on the lawsuit.

Horizon’s estimate predates when companies and Wall Street analysts initially expected the deal to close after the FTC lawsuit. The parties had previously said it could close around mid-December.

Horizon’s stock price was about 1% higher on Thursday morning. Amgen’s stock price fell about 1%.

If completed, the deal would give Amgen access to Horizon’s blockbuster thyroid eye disease drug, Tepezza, and its gout drug, Krystexxa.

These treatments could help Amgen offset potential revenue declines caused by multiple patent expirations for key treatments over the next decade.

They are also at the center of the FTC lawsuit seeking to block the deal. The agency said the deal would allow Amgen to “solidify monopoly positions” in these two fast-growing Horizon drugs.

Amgen would be able to offer discounts on its existing drugs to pressure insurers and drug benefit managers into favoring both Horizon products, a strategy known as “cross-market bundling.”

On Tuesday, Amgen said in a statement that it had “compellingly demonstrated” that the merger poses no competition concerns.

Horizon, in a separate statement, said it “does not contemplate or intend” to engage in cross-market bundles.

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