Third Dutch biotech firm this year is bought by a major player

cholesterolA small, relatively unknown Dutch biotech company which was set up just three years ago is to be bought by US firm Amgem for a deal that could be worth up to €1.38bn.

The takeover of Dezima Pharma, which is based in Naarden, is one of the biggest deals involving a Dutch biotech firm, the Financieele Dagblad reported.

Dezima’s main product is cholesterol inhibitors and positive test results three months ago awakened Amgen’s interest, the FD said.

Dezima was set up in 2012 by John Kastelein, a professor at Amsterdam’s AMC teaching hospital, together with investment funds Forbion, New Science Ventures and BioGeneration Ventures.

Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen will pay $300m in cash at closing and up to $1.25bn in additional payments if certain development and sales milestones are achieved, Dezima said in a statement.

This is the third major takeover in the Dutch biotech sector this year. In May Pfizer said it was to pay €500m in stages for AM-Pharma from Bunnik, that makes an enzyme to protect against acute kidney failure. And Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed a deal for Amsterdam biotech firm Uniqure which could eventually be worth more than $2bn.

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