US FTC suspends challenge to block Amgen’s $27.8 billion deal for Horizon Therapeutics

us-ftc-suspends-challenge-to-block-amgen’s-$27.8-billion-deal-for-horizon-therapeutics
US FTC suspends challenge to block Amgen’s $27.8 billion deal for Horizon Therapeutics

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has temporarily halted its opposition to Amgen’s $27.8 billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics, according to a filing on Friday. The suspension will allow the FTC to consider settling the case. The pause will remain in effect until September 18.

Amgen has acknowledged the FTC’s decision and is ready to demonstrate in court that there are no legal or factual grounds to block the acquisition. The company expressed its preference for honoring its commitment rather than going through a lengthy court process. Amgen expects to complete the acquisition by mid-December this year.

In an unusual move to block a major pharmaceutical deal, the FTC filed a lawsuit on May 16 against the transaction. The agency’s opposition to the deal stems from concerns that Amgen may use its best-selling drugs to pressure insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers into providing favorable terms for Horizon’s key products, Tepezza and Krystexxa.

Amgen announced its intention to acquire Horizon in December of last year, citing the potential protection from drug pricing provisions offered by Horizon’s rare disease drugs. These provisions are aimed at drugs commonly used by the government’s Medicare health plan. The agency and Amgen are scheduled to meet in Chicago federal court in September to discuss the injunction.

Horizon Therapeutics has not yet responded to a request for comment from RushHourDaily.

Reporting by Urvi Dugar in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely and Diane Craft.

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