Biopharma’s 6 Biggest Deals: Were They Worth It?

With Amgen set to drop $10.4 billion on Onyx, investors are wondering how effective super-sized biopharma acquisitions are

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Amgen (Immunex)

Amgen 185 Biopharmas 6 Biggest Deals: Were They Worth It?As it turns out, the Onyx deal isn’t the biggest merger Amgen has made. The company also acquired Immunex back in December of 2001 — before mega-deals were en vogue — for a whopping $15.9 billion. The deal gave Amgen control of the rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel.

At the time, Enbrel was the fastest-growing ‘biologic’ … a relatively young class of drug at the time. Amgen’s then-CEO, Kevin Sharer, opined the drug could eventually produce sales of $3 billion, and maybe even more.

But every biotech company must face the same question: Will the drug come anywhere close to producing those results? In this case, the answer was a resounding yes. Between Amgen and selling partner Pfizer (PFE), Enbrel‘s sales exceeded $8 billion in 2012.

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