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Amag Forks Out US$675 Million for Premature Birth Drug

Amag Pharmaceuticals has announced its decision to purchase Lumara Health’s maternal health operations in a bid to gain access to Makena, the blockbuster premature birth drug. Amag will shell out US$ 675 million—of which US$ 75 million will be in the form of stocks and US$ 600 million in the form of cash—for the deal, which will also comprise a US$ 350 million contingent element depending on pre-decided sales milestones. Makena injection dominates the latter in its capacity as the only U.S. FDA-approved product for reducing preterm birth risks among females pregnant with one fetus, and also who have in the past delivered a preterm baby.

Makena’s 12-month sales, until August 31, crossed US$ 130 million – this marks a year-on-year rise of 72%. According to Amag, the market dynamics are currently positive and the regulatory environment remains favorable, giving Makena a boost in the market. The recent implementation of a business strategy that is patient-centric has also contributed to Makena’s successful run.

According to William Heiden, CEO of Amag, Makena will serve as a significant addition to the company’s portfolio. The company’s expansion plans for Feramheme will be supplemented by this acquisition, Heiden added.

Earlier in 2014, the FDA had rejected Amag’s new drug application for expanding the uses of Feraheme (ferumoxytol) to take it beyond its current indication—that mainly includes chronic kidney disease. The company wanted to include adult anemia patients who showed intolerance to oral doses of iron treatment. If Amag is able to successfully expand its label, it is positive that the commercial sales force that acquires from Lumara will prove beneficial.

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