Amgen Said to Push for Lower Onyx Price Amid Data Dispute

Amgen Inc. is pushing to pay less than the $130 a share it offered this month for Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. after failing to obtain requested clinical trial data, said people with knowledge of the matter.

Onyx refused to give Amgen additional data on blood-cancer treatment Kyprolis, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. Amgen wanted the information to more accurately value the drug, people familiar with the situation said last week. Onyx doesn’t want to relinquish the data in part because they pertain to individual patients, one person said.

Thousand Oaks, California-based Amgen, the world’s biggest biotechnology company by sales, hasn’t put a new offer on the table and is considering its next move, said the people. Onyx, based in South San Francisco, California, doesn’t have access to the data Amgen wants, from a study designed for European approval, because the trial is ongoing, a person familiar with the matter said last week.

Onyx didn’t want to attempt to gain access to the information because that could disrupt the approval process for the drug and delay its release, according to that person. The company has at least one other suitor, British pharmaceuticals maker AstraZeneca Plc, doing due diligence, that person said. So far, there is no rival bid, one of the people with knowledge of the talks said.

Onyx fell less than 1 percent to $116.79 at 9:40 a.m. New York time, while Amgen declined less than 1 percent to $105.42.

Onyx’s Data

Onyx has given aggregated patient data to all suitors who signed non-disclosure agreements to do due diligence, that person said.

Representatives for Onyx, Amgen and AstraZeneca declined to comment. Onyx shares rose less than 1 percent to $117.59 yesterday in New York.

Kyprolis was approved last year for some patients with multiple myeloma, and may draw more than $3 billion in revenue by 2021, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. At $130 a share, Amgen’s offer reflects a 50 percent premium over $86.82, where Onyx’s stock traded before news of Amgen’s first offer became public in late June.

Onyx also sells Nexavar, for liver and kidney cancer, and Stivarga, for stomach cancer, in partnership with Germany’s Bayer AG. The biotechnology company reported $362 million in 2012 revenue, with 80 percent coming from Nexavar and Stivarga.

Chief Executive Officer N. Anthony Coles said Aug. 8 the company is involved with several potential purchasers. Onyx disclosed the sale process June 30, after rejecting an unsolicited offer from Amgen for $120 a share. The company said then that it was working with adviser Centerview Partners.

(Updates to add shares in fifth paragraph.)
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