Crédit Agricole Private Equity announces Amgen agreement to acquire portfolio company BioVex for up to US$1 billion

Acquisition of a Potential, First-in-Class Cancer Therapeutic in Late-Stage Clinical Trials for the Treatment of Advanced Melanoma and Head and Neck Cancer

Crédit Agricole Private Equity announces that Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and BioVex, Inc. have entered into a definitive acquisition agreement where Amgen has agreed to acquire BioVex Group, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company that has two biologics in clinical development, including BioVex’s lead product candidate, OncoVEXGM-CSF, a first in class oncolytic vaccine that may prove to be a paradigm-shifting approach to treating melanoma and other solid tumors, as well as a vaccine for genital herpes.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of each company. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.

Under terms of the agreement, Amgen will pay up to US$1 billion; US$425 million in cash at closing and up to US$575 million in additional payments upon the achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones. Following the completion of the transaction, BioVex will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Amgen.

“We are proud to have finalised such a large transaction which reflects the potential of the company we have been supporting since our first investment. Crédit Agricole Private Equity has invested in BioVex next to Forbion and SEP in 2003 followed by Innoven in 2004 and holds since then roughly 10% of the shares of the company with a Board seat. This strong historical syndicate led by Forbion has actively supported the company over the various financial rounds and during its clinical development”, declares Dr Guinot MD, PhD, Senior Partner at Crédit Agricole Private Equity and Head of Life Sciences investments.

“OncoVEXGM-CSF has demonstrated encouraging anti-tumor activity in clinical studies for the treatment of melanoma and head and neck cancer. BioVex is currently enrolling patients into pivotal phase 3 trials in both indications,” said Roger M. Perlmutter, M.D., Ph.D., Amgen’s Executive Vice President, Research and Development. “Amgen is particularly excited about joining with BioVex and its talented staff to focus on advancing this late-stage investigational therapy, with the hope of bringing it to market within the next few years.”

“Amgen is ideally positioned to leverage the potential of OncoVEX in multiple solid tumor indications given their impressive oncology franchise and expertise in biologics manufacturing and development”, said Philip Astley-Sparke, Chief Executive Officer of BioVex. “We have a shared vision and commitment to bring novel therapeutics to market and we are looking forward to being able to combine our efforts towards this common goal.”


Crédit Agricole Private Equity

Philippe Guinot, MD, PhD, Senior Partner and Head of Life Sciences investments

Emmanuelle Coutanceau, PhD, Associate, Life sciences

Press contact

Martine Sessin-Caracci,, +33 (0)1 43 23 90 88

About Crédit Agricole Private Equity

Crédit Agricole Private Equity is an AMF-accredited asset-management subsidiary of Crédit Agricole, specialising in direct private-equity investment in non-listed companies. A multi-specialist player, Crédit Agricole Private Equity’s team of 100 professionals manages €3.3 billion with specific expertise in LBO & Expansion, Venture Capital, Mezzanine, Co-Investment, Renewable Energy and PPP Infrastructure. The 12-strong venture capital team manages €470 million through FCPIs invested in young companies with high growth potential in 2 sectors: information technology and life sciences. Crédit Agricole Private Equity has signed up to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

About BioVex

BioVex is a privately held biotechnology company based in Woburn, Mass. where it also has an operational commercial scale manufacturing facility. The Company is developing a new class of potent biologics for the treatment of cancer and prevention of infectious disease. In addition to OncoVEXGM-CSF, the Company has a second development program, ImmunoVEXHSV2 a vaccine for genital herpes that is undergoing clinical testing in the United Kingdom.


OncoVEXGM-CSFis a first in class therapeutic cancer vaccine with both oncolytic and immunomodulatory activities. BioVex believes OncoVEXGM-CSFhas the potential to become a leading standard of care in the treatment of many solid tumors based on the strength of clinical data so far generated coupled with the relatively benign side effect profile noted to date. Previous clinical trials have enrolled patients with breast cancer, melanoma, head and neck cancer and pancreatic cancer, with indications of clinical activity being observed in each. BioVex is currently conducting a Phase 3 study in metastatic melanoma (the OPTiM study) following achieving an unprecedented proportion of durable complete remissions in a Phase 2 study using OncoVEXGM-CSFas a standalone therapy. A second Phase 3 study in Head & Neck cancer commenced in December 2010.

About Amgen

Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science’s promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a broad and deep pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people’s lives.