Amgen Inc. is in advanced talks to acquire drug firm Horizon Therapeutics PLC, according to people familiar with the matter, in a takeover likely to be valued at well over $20 billion and mark the year’s largest healthcare merger.
The US biotechnology firm was the last of the three suitors standing in an auction for Horizon, the people said after French pharma firm Sanofi SA said it was out of the running.
According to the sources, a deal could be agreed upon by Monday assuming the talks with Amgen do not fall apart.
Horizon develops medicines to treat rare autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases that are currently sold mostly in the US. Its most significant drug, Tepezza, is used to treat thyroid eye disease, an affliction characterized by progressive inflammation and damage to tissues around the eyes.
Horizon Therapeutics is Nasdaq-listed, but based in Ireland and has operations in Dublin, Deerfield, Illinois, and a new facility in Rockville, Maryland.
Last month, Horizon Therapeutics said it was fielding takeover interest from Sanofi, Amgen, and Johnson & Johnson, a disclosure prompted by a Wall Street Journal report.
In 2021, revenue from Tepezza more than doubled, driving Horizon’s overall net sales 47% higher to $3.23 billion.