Amgen to acquire BioVex Group Inc for up to $1 billion

Amgen Inc, the world's largest biotechnology company, yesterday said that it will acquire privately held biotech company BioVex Group Inc, for up to $1 billion.

Massachusetts-based BioVex is developing a new class of potent biologics for the treatment of cancer and prevention of infectious disease.

In addition to OncoVEXGM-the company has a second development program, ImmunoVEXHSV2, a vaccine for genital herpes that is undergoing clinical testing in the UK.

OncoVEXGM-CSF is a first in class therapeutic cancer vaccine with both oncolytic and immunomodulatory activities. BioVex believes that OncoVEXGM-CSF has the potential to become a leading standard of care in the treatment of breast cancer, melanoma, head and neck cancer and pancreatic cancer.

BioVex recently closed a $70-million funding round representing the second-largest venture capital raise in the US biotech sector in 2009.

California-based Amgen discovers and develops innovative human therapeutics. Amgen pioneered the development of novel products based on advances in recombinant DNA and molecular biology and launched the biotechnology industry's first blockbuster medicines.