Amgen has signed a collaboration agreement with BeiGene to expand its oncology footprint in China through joint-development and commercialisation of its oncology assets under pipeline.

In addition to the development and commercialisation, Amgen will also buy 20.5% stake in BeiGene at $174.85 per American Depositary Share (ADS), for a total of approximately $2.7bn in cash, under the collaboration.

Amgen chairman and chief executive officer Robert A Bradway said: “This strategic collaboration with BeiGene will enable Amgen to serve significantly more patients by expanding our presence in the world’s most populous country. Cancer is a leading cause of death in China and will only become a more pressing public health issue as the Chinese population ages.

“With its extensive commercial and clinical capabilities within China and a commitment to global quality standards, BeiGene is the ideal strategic collaborator as we seek to make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of cancer patients in China and around the world.”

BeiGene will commercialise and retain rights for Amgen’s products in China

Under the terms of the agreement, BeiGene is responsible for commercialising Amgen’s products Xgeva, Kyprolis and Blincyto in China for five or seven years, sharing equal profits and losses.

Xgeva(denosumab) is used for treating patients with giant cell tumour of the bone and is under evaluation for treating patients with bone metastases.

Kyprolis (carfilzomib) is used for patients with multiple myeloma, and Blincyto (blinatumomab) is used as a treatment for adult patients with relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

After the completion of the commercialisation period, BeiGene will hold the right to retain one product and it will receive royalties for an additional five years, on the sales of products not retained, in China.

Both the companies will jointly develop 20 oncology assets under Amgen’s pipeline, which include targeted small-molecule agents AMG 510 and Bispecific T cell Engager (BiTE) antibodies, and co-fund up to $1.25bn in global development costs throughout collaboration.

BeiGene co-founder, CEO, and chairman John V Oyler said: “Through this collaboration, Amgen, a true biotech pioneer and leader in our industry, has recognized the transformative potential of BeiGene’s unique clinical development capabilities to accelerate global drug development.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Amgen to realize the development and commercialization of this broad oncology pipeline with the aim of benefitting patients around the world.”