Bristol-Myers to acquire diabetes drug maker Amylin

Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., the San Diego drug maker whose treatments include the diabetes therapies Bydureon and Byetta, will be acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. for $5.3 billion in cash.

Bristol-Myers agreed to pay $31 a share for Amylin, the companies said Friday in a statement. That’s 10% more than the company’s closing price Friday. Including Amylin’s debt and a payment to Eli Lilly & Co. of about $1.7 billion, the deal is valued at about $7 billion.

“We are pleased to be able to strengthen the portfolio we have built to help patients with diabetes by building on the success Amylin has had with its GLP-1 franchise,” said Bristol-Myers Chief Executive Lamberto Andreotti in the statement.

Amylin began seeking suitors after rejecting a $22-a-share offer from New York-based Bristol-Myers in February, people familiar with the matter said this year. AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Merck & Co. also made offers during a bidding process, people with knowledge of the process had said.


“It doesn’t make sense to me that someone’s going to pay this ginormous premium for Amylin,” Michael King, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw in New York, said Friday in a telephone interview. “The desperation of big pharma is the best thing Amylin has going for itself.”

Since November, Amylin had been seeking a partner to help market Bydureon, its one-weekly version of Byetta, outside the U.S. after it ended a decade-long deal with Eli Lilly. Indianapolis-based Ely Lilly is developing a product with Boehringer Ingelheim that may compete with Amylin’s drugs.

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