Amgen and Astellas Announce Japanese Link

US biotechnology giant Amgen has entered a partnership with Astellas Pharma of Japan in order to provide for the medical needs of Japanese patients, reports

A new business model, combining both companies’ capabilities has been agreed. Amgen’s pipeline candidate drugs are to be joined with Astellas’ knowledge and presence in the Japanese market. Five of Amgen’s pipeline developments, for the treatment of diseases of a cardiovascular nature as well as cancer, are set to be further commercialised and progressed.

A joint venture company will also be established, with the name Amgen Astellas BioPharma, with the intention of enabling Amgen to quickly establish a significant presence in Japan. This is expected to be set up and running by 1st October 2013.

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Amgen acquires kidney drug biopharmaceutical company

As reported by The Pharma Times, the leading Biotechnology company, Amgen is acquiring KAI Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company who has developed a novel drug  for chronic kidney disease.

Amgen have acquired KAI Pharmaceuticals for $315 million in cash which has given them rights to the experimental treatment for chronic kidney disease.

The kidney drug, called KAI-4169 is in Phase II and is being researched for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) in those patients who are suffering with chronic kidney disease and are on dialysis. It is a drug that is administered intravenously.

The world’s largest biotech company, Amgen has given a loan to KAI to enable the Phase III trials to take place. The acquisition of KAI Pharmaceuticals will add to their already established dialysis drug portfolio (if it is approved). Amgen already have a drug used for the treatment of SHPT called Sensipar which is an oral drug.

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Amgen and Celgene make acquisitions to strengthen their oncology pipeline

As reported by Chemical and Engineering News, the leading Biotechnology company, Amgen and biopharmaceutical company, Celgene are making steps to strengthen their oncology drug pipelines through acquisitions.


Amgen is set to pay $1.2 for Micromet, an innovative biopharmaceutical company which concentrates on developing oncology drugs. Their technologies focus on antibody technology (BiTE) which work by binging both tumour cells and T cells which causes the cancer cell to die.


Celgene is acquiring Avila Therapeutics for $925 million. Avila are the first company to design and develop targeted covalent drugs robustly. These drugs are able to both inhibit and silence disease-causing proteins.

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Pharmaceutical Companies Provide Emergency Aid for Victims of Haiti Earthquake

Pharmaceutical companies across the world are gearing up to provide relief to the victims of the Haiti earthquake.  


Novartis is providing the equivalent of over  $2.5 million in immediate emergency aid for victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. They are providing support in the form of financial aid as well as donations such as essential medicines.

Not only this, but Novartis employees the world over are encouraged to make cash contributions to the support effort. Their contributions are to be matched by the company. Speaking of the Earthquake, Dr. Daniel Vasella, CEO of Novartis stated,

“It was with dismay that we learned about the destructive force of the earthquake in Haiti, which has brought such immense suffering to that nation and its people,I would like to express our deepest sympathy for all the people affected and also to assure them of our support. Our experience of providing support in the wake of natural disasters has proven successful, ensuring that we can get aid to the people in need fast and efficiently.”


Abbott are set to provide an additional $2.5million in the form funding and donations of pharmaceutical products to humanitatian aid organisations. The company initially provided aid through Direct Relief International and are now looking to work with relief partners even further to ensure the efficient response to ongoing needs for longer-term recovery efforts.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 

GSK have provided medicines valued at $1.4million to the relief effort. These medicines were mainly oral and topical antibiotics, including Bactroban, Zovirax, Augmentin, Ceftin, Zinacef and Zantac.

The company have also committed approximately $408,000 (£250,000) to the British Red Cross to help meet the water and sanitation needs of those affected by the disaster.


The biotechnology company, Amgen, has announced that it will be donating $2million to the Haiti relief effort. The company are also planning to match all staff contributions.


Merck has announced that it will be making an initial contribution of $350,000 to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief, U.S. Fund for UNICEF.


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