The deal between Horizon Therapeutics and Amgen might shut the third quarter if the FTC lockdown fails

Robert Galbraith | Reuters

Horizon Therapeutics expects sale valued at $27.8 billion amgen could be completed by the end of the third quarter, ahead of schedule if the Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to block the deal fails, according to a document filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The FTC filed a lawsuit in federal court in Illinois on Tuesday to stop the acquisition, saying it would “suppress” competition in the pharmaceutical industry.

Horizon, which is based in Ireland, said in the new SEC filing that the deal could close by “late Q3 or early Q4 2023” if a federal court denies the FTC’s request by September 15 . The companies agreed not to complete the acquisition until that date or the second business day after the court’s decision on the lawsuit.

Horizon’s estimate is earlier than when the companies and Wall Street analysts originally expected the deal to close following the FTC’s lawsuit. The parties previously said it could close around mid-December.

Horizon’s stock price rose about 1% in early morning trading on Thursday. California-based Amgen’s share price fell about 1%.

If closed, Amgen would gain access to Horizon’s blockbuster thyroid eye disease drug Tepezza and its gout drug Krystexxa.

Those treatments could help Amgen offset potential sales declines caused by multiple patent expirations for key treatments over the next decade.

They are also at the center of the FTC’s lawsuit seeking to block the deal. The agency said the deal would allow Amgen to “consolidate its monopoly positions” on Horizon’s two fast-growing drugs.

Amgen would be able to offer discounts on its existing drugs to pressure insurers and benefit managers at pharmacies to favor the two Horizon products, a strategy known as “cross-market bundling.”

On Tuesday, Amgen said in a statement it had “proved overwhelmingly” that the merger would not raise any competition issues.

Horizon said in a separate statement that it had “no intention” to engage in cross-market bundling.

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