Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the drugmaker that employs 400 in West Chester, has been acquired by biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca as part of a deal to buy partner Bristol-Myers Squibb’s stake in a joint diabetes venture.
AstraZeneca will pay $2.7 billion upfront and as much as $1.4 billion more in regulatory, commercial and sales goals for the venture, the company announced Thursday.
The London-based company has also agreed to pay various sales-related royalty payments until 2025 and payments of up to $225 million if some assets are transferred.
AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers teamed up in 2007 to jointly research, develop and commercialize investigational drugs for type 2 diabetes. The alliance expanded last year with the $5.3 billion purchase of San Diego-based Amylin, the maker of the first once-a-week diabetes injection drug Bydureon.
The drug won federal approval in 2012 after the Food and Drug Administration twice declined to approve it in 2010, citing concerns that the drug might contribute to heart rhythm abnormalities.
Bydureon is a refinement of the company’s Byetta drug, which requires twice-daily injections. Both are derived from a hormone in the saliva of a Gila monster, a poisonous lizard found in the Southwestern United States and Mexico.
It’s produced at the company’s $700 million manufacturing plant and distribution center off Port Union Road in West Chester, which opened in 2005. At the time, proponents touted the facility as the largest manufacturing investment in West Chester’s history.
As part of the deal, AstraZeneca now has full control of Symlin, another Amylin-developed product, as well as diabetes drugs Onglyza, Forxiga and Kombiglyze.
The move is part of the company’s strategic focus on the treatment of diabetes, company officials said.
“Diabetes is rapidly becoming a global challenge of epidemic proportions that is expected to affect more than 550 million people by 2030,” AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said in a press release.
About 4,100 Bristol-Myers employees, including those at Amylin, will transfer to AstraZeneca. The deal is expected to close in January.