Amgen adds gastric cancer drug candidate in $1.9 billion Five Prime Therapeutics deal

FILE PHOTO: An Amgen sign is seen at the company’s office in South San Francisco, California October 21, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

(Reuters) – Drugmaker Amgen Inc will pay about $1.9 billion in cash for Five Prime Therapeutics, adding a late-stage gastric cancer drug candidate to its line of cancer drugs, the companies said on Thursday.

Amgen will pay $38 per Five Prime share, representing a premium of nearly 79% to the company’s last closing price of $21.26.

The deal will give Amgen access to Five Prime’s lead drug candidate, bemarituzumab, which is ready to enter late-stage study for treating advanced gastric cancer.

Gastric cancer is particularly prevalent in the Asia-Pacific region, where Amgen expects to generate significant volume growth in the coming years, the company said in a statement.

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