Onyx hands bidders new Kyprolis data to smooth path to $9.5B deal

Onyx Pharmaceuticals looks ready to make a deal. The company has shared trial data on its Kyprolis cancer drug with bidders, freeing up negotiations that had snagged, Reuters reports. According to the news service's anonymous sources, Onyx ($ONXX) gave the data to Amgen ($AMGN), the apparent frontrunner, and other unidentified shoppers.

Amgen had asked for the data last week, but Onyx wasn't keen on providing it. The trial in question is still in process. But Amgen wanted to better evaluate Kyprolis' long-term prospects, and the study is looking at the drug's effects in multiple myeloma patients who've failed on one prior treatment regimen. Currently, Kyprolis is approved only for patients who've worsened after two other therapies, so the new trial's success could lead to a much bigger market.

Amgen is negotiating a deal at $130 per share, or about $9.5 billion, Reuters says. Onyx rejected the company's $120-per-share bid in June, and then put itself up for sale to gauge interest from other bidders. An assortment of drugmakers have reportedly looked at the deal, including Bristol-Myers ($BMY), AstraZeneca ($AZN), Novartis ($NVS) and Pfizer ($PFE).

Kyprolis is key to the deal because it's the only approved drug Onyx markets on its own. Its other two products--the liver cancer treatment Nexavar and colon cancer drug Stivarga--are sold in partnership with Bayer. And so far, Kyprolis has delivered: It brought in $64 million after its launch last year, and for the first half of this year, it racked up almost twice that, about $125 million. Analysts figure it will top $1.5 billion by 2018, which would put it among the world's top 20 orphan drugs.

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