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Bristol-Myers Squibb Buys Amylin, Expands AstraZenca Deal

Diabetes Test (NIH)

(National Institutes of Health)

The pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, New Jersey will acquire diabetes drug maker Amylin Pharmaceuticals in San Diego, California for $31.00 per share or $5.3 billion. Bristol-Myers Squibb will also expand its current collaboration with pharmaceutical maker AstraZeneca in London developing diabetes drugs, using the assets acquired through Amylin.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals is expected to continue as a subsidiary of Bristol Myers Squibb.  The company is a developer of several drugs to treat diabetes, including glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists Byetta and Bydureon for type 2 diabetes. These drugs, with the generic name exenatide, stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin when blood sugar levels are high. Exenatide also slows the emptying of the stomach and causes a decrease in appetite. Both drugs have been approved by the FDA — Byetta in 2005 and Bydureon in January 2012.

Amylin has also developed Symlin (pramlintide acetate), approved by the FDA to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes, for patients with inadequate glycemic control on meal-time insulin. Metreleptin, an analog of the human hormone leptin for the treatment of diabetes and inherited or acquired lipodystrophy — a rare condition characterized by loss of subcutaneous fat — is still under FDA review.

AstraZeneca and Bristol Myers Squibb first began partnering in 2007 to develop and commercialize two investigational drugs Onglyza (saxagliptin) and dapagliflozin, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The companies expect the GLP-1 agonists Byetta and Bydureon from the Amylin acquisition to complement this portfolio.

Under the new deal, AstraZeneca will pay the Amylin subsidiary some $3.4 billion immediately, with profits and losses shared equally between the two companies. AstraZeneca will have the option later on for gaining more governance control over business decisions involving the collaboration.

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