Amgen buys 1 company, partners with 2nd to create new biotech drugs for cholesterol, cancer

Markets Associated Press

Biotech drug giant Amgen is making deals to replenish its stock of medicines in development as new competition to its lucrative biotech drugs threatens future revenue.

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The world's biggest biotech drugmaker is buying one company with a daily cholesterol treatment in mid-stage patient testing. Amgen also signed a deal with another company, Xencor (ZEHN'-kor), to jointly develop drugs for cancer and inflammatory conditions.

Amgen will pay up to $1.55 billion for Dutch biotechnology company Dezima (DEZ'-eh-ma) Pharma B.V., which is developing a drug shown to reduce bad cholesterol by about 45 percent. Meanwhile, Amgen will pay up to $1.75 billion to Xencor if their partnership produces several approved drugs.

Analysts Wednesday call the deals smart moves for Amgen, based in Thousand Oaks, California. However, investors are driving down its shares.