Amgen emerges frontrunner in Horizon deal as Sanofi drops bid

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(Reuters) -Amgen Inc is in advanced talks to buy biotech company Horizon Therapeutics Plc, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, while rival bidder French health group Sanofi announced it had dropped its bid.

A deal for Amgen to buy the company could be finalised by Monday assuming the talks don’t fall apart, the Journal report added. Amgen and Horizon did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comments.

Last month, Horizon Therapeutics – which has a market capitalization of about $22 billion – had said it was in talks with Amgen Inc, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Global Services unit, all three of which have been active in deal-making this year.

Sanofi said on Sunday that it was no longer in discussions with Horizon and does not intend to make an offer for it.

“Transaction price expectations do not meet our value creation criteria,” Sanofi said in a statement.

Janssen also pulled out of the race last week saying that it does not intend to make an offer for Horizon. Horizon, which makes drugs for rare autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases, expects over $4 billion in global annual peak sales for its biggest drug Tepezza, which is used to treat thyroid eye disease.

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