Amgen To Buy KAI Pharma For $315M

The world's biggest biotech drugmaker will help KAI finish planning late stage trials of its most advanced drug candidate, which helps dialysis patients.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Amgen Inc. said Tuesday that it will pay $315 million to buy KAI Pharmaceuticals, a company that is developing a drug designed to treat a common side effect of kidney disease.

The world's biggest biotech drugmaker said it will make a loan to KAI Pharmaceuticals so the company can finish planning late stage trials of KAI-4169, its most advanced drug candidate. KAI is studying the drug as a treatment for secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis.

The deal gives Amgen the rights to market KAI-4169 in all countries except Japan.

The parathyroid glands release a hormone that helps control the amount of calcium in a person's blood. When the glands are not working properly, levels of calcium and phosphorous can get too high. Amgen said patients with kidney disease often develop parathyroidism, and the condition can get worse as their kidney function declines. The company said most patients on dialysis have secondary parathyroidism.

KAI is privately held and based in South San Francisco, Calif. It is studying KAI-4169 in a mid-stage clinical trial. Amgen said studies show the drug can reduce levels of parathyroid hormone, phosphorous, and calcium.

Amgen also makes the drugs Aranesp and Epogen, which are used to treat anemia in kidney disease patients on dialysis.

Shares of Amgen fell 29 cents to $66.73 in morning trading. They are trading near the high end of their 52-week range of $47.66 to $70 per share.

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