More info, please: FTC sends Amgen, Horizon a 2nd request for info as it looks over proposed merger

Amgen's $28.3 billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics won’t go through without a hefty review from U.S. antitrust watchdogs.

Tuesday, the companies revealed that they have received a second request for information from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as the agency scrutinizes the deal.

Amgen and Horizon intend to promptly respond to the request, Horizon said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

During Amgen's fourth quarter earnings call this week, CEO Robert Bradway said the company is "optimistic" it can complete the deal in the first half of 2023 as planned. 

The disclosure comes a few days after Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren urged the commission to closely look over two proposed mergers, including the Horizon buyout. In a letter addressed to FTC Chair Lina Khan and two commissioners, the senator highlighted concerns over “the rampant consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry and its impact on drug affordability and access” in the U.S.

In response, an Amgen spokesperson told Fierce Pharma the company is confident there are “no anti-competitive aspects” to the transaction. Amgen's "commercial, medical, and manufacturing capabilities will make it possible for Horizon’s life-changing medicines to reach many more seriously ill patients," the spokesperson added.

After winning out over Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi, Amgen entered into a bridge credit agreement with Citibank and Bank of America to finance the deal. The company expects to see a return on the buyout, last year’s largest in the biopharma industry, in 2024.