Amgen looks to Brazil for some growth
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.—In a pair of moves announced April 8, biotech giant Amgen is strengthening its position in Brazil, first with the acquisition of Bergamo, a privately-held Brazilian pharmaceutical company, for about $215 million and second with the reacquisition of rights in Brazil to its products that were previously granted to Mantecorp, a company subsequently acquired by Hypermarcas.  
Together, these transactions will, Amgen reports, provide it with "a significant presence in Brazil and immediate, direct access to one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical markets in the world."  
Bergamo is a leading supplier of oncology medicines to the hospital sector in Brazil and has manufacturing facilities in Sao Paulo, bringing with it gross revenues of $80 million in 2010. In fact, the company has been growing at an annual rate of 19 percent since 2007. Brazil in general is among the top 10 pharmaceutical markets in the world and in recent years has been growing at a rate of about 12 percent per year— it is expected to be the world's fifth largest pharmaceutical market by 2015.  
As for the reacquisition deal, Amgen has entered into an agreement in principle with Hypermarcas to reacquire the rights in Brazil to several of Amgen's innovative medicines. Two of them, Vectibix (panitumumab) and Mimpara (cinacalcet) are already approved in Brazil and the third, romiplostim (a blood disorder medicine registered as Nplate in the United States), is currently under review by ANVISA, the regulatory authority in Brazil.
"Amgen's strategic goal is to make our innovative medicines available to patients in major markets around the world," says Kevin Sharer, Amgen's chairman and CEO. "Acquiring Bergamo, a profitable company with an established local infrastructure, and regaining the rights to our products in Brazil, provides us an attractive entry into the Brazilian market."  
The focus on Brazil is part of a wider international expansion strategy for Amgen, the company notes.  
"We expect Amgen to continue to be acquisitive and see similar transactions," Deutsche Bank analyst Robyn Karnauskas wrote in a research note. 

Code: E04111102

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