The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday sued to block Amgen’s $27.8 billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics, signaling possible tougher scrutiny of biopharma takeovers even as the pace of deals starts to pick up.
The acquisition, announced in December, was seen as another move by a large pharma company to build out its rare disease pipeline. Horizon’s Tepezza, a treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2020 for moderate to severe thyroid eye disease, has yearly sales approaching $2 billion. Sales of another Horizon treatment — Krystexxa, a gout therapy — are also growing quickly.
But in its suit, the FTC alleged that the acquisition would enable Amgen to build monopolies around Tepezza and Krystezza and keep other competing medications from reaching patients.
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