Bristol-Myers Squibb

Amgen to buy Otezla for $13.4 billion

Amgen logo on a phone screen
Amgen just bolstered Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Amgen has agreed to buy psoriasis drug Otezla for $13.4 billion in cash, roughly 30% more than Wall Street expected the drug would fetch.

Why it matters: Bristol-Myers needed to sell Otezla, owned by Celgene, to satisfy some federal antitrust concerns over its pending buyout of Celgene. Now the drug giant expects to complete the Celgene deal by the end of this year, but without a growing, lucrative medicine.

With cash to burn, pharma deals are all the rage

Data: 2019 EY M&A Firepower report and Axios reporting; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pharmaceutical industry has already shelled out more than $200 billion for acquisitions during the first half of 2019, capped off yesterday by AbbVie's $63 billion buyout offer for Allergan.

The big picture: This year's deal-making has already surpassed 2017 and 2018, as drug companies plan for patent losses and jockey for lucrative assets that are advancing in clinical trials, including gene therapies.