Pharmaceutical company Biovitrum has taken on three of Amgen’s biologics products in a deal worth more than $130 million.

Biovitrum has acquired Kepivance (palifermin), a treatment for chemotherapy-related oral mucositis, and Stemgen (ancestim), a treatment that stimulates the development of blood cells, and has obtained the worldwide exclusive license to rheumatoid arthritis drug Kineret (anakinra).

“The acquisition of these exciting biotechnology therapeutics is fully in line with our business strategy and roadmap for growth,” said Martin Nicklasson, Chief Executive of Biovitrum.

“We will now expand Biovitrum’s presence to include North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

While the agreement includes an in inventory of the three products at an undisclosed value, the transaction sees an upfront payment to Amgen of $130 million, consisting of $110 million in cash and $20 million worth of shares. The agreement also provides for payment of sales milestones and other contingent payments.

According to Kevin Sharer, Amgen Chief Executive and Chairman, the deal would allow the biotech company “to focus its resources on developing new, innovative therapies for serious illnesses”.

In 2007, the three drugs combined had sales worth nearly $70 million.

Bone drug data comes up trumps

Amgen also announced successful results from Phase III studies that looked at bone mineral density gains in postmenopausal women who took denosumab.

Patients who had previously been treated with (Fosamax) alendronate and changed to denosumab saw significant bone density gains.

“Data from these trials highlight the potential for a new treatment option for the millions of postmenopausal women worldwide with osteoporosis,” said Dr Roger Perlmutter, Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Amgen.