Amgen has made a public offer to buy Denmark-based biopharmaceutical company Nuevolution for a cash consideration of around $167m.

The deal represents a 169% premium to Nuevolution’s closing price on 21 May 2019. It has been unanimously approved by the Danish company’s board of directors.

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Founded in 2001, Nuevolution operates a small molecule drug discovery platform to be leveraged by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for identifying therapies. The company has previously collaborated with Novartis, Janssen Biotech, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Merck (MSD) and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals.

Nuevolution’s in-house programmes focus on inflammation, oncology and immuno-oncology. It has also developed a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) encoded library drug discovery platform called Chemetics for small-molecule drug candidates. Chemetics facilitates the screening of numerous molecules and better optimisation of drug properties.

Amgen established a multi-target collaboration with Nuevolution in October 2016. The US-based company exercised its contractual opt-in right for the two initial oncology programmes from this alliance.

Nuevolution expects that the acquisition will help it more effectively communicate its technology and drug discovery expertise using Amgen’s research and development (R&D), manufacturing and commercialisation capabilities.

Amgen global research senior vice-president Raymond Deshaies said: “To achieve our vision, we will need to embrace compelling opportunities, like this one, which will significantly expand Amgen’s ability to discover novel small molecules against difficult-to-drug targets and with greater speed and efficiency.

“We highly value our collaboration of the past three years with Nuevolution and are excited to incorporate their expertise and DNA-encoded library discovery platform technology more holistically into Amgen’s research moving forward.”

Amgen noted that it does not intend to make any changes to Nuevolution’s management team, key employees, operations or business locations.