EXCLUSIVE-Onyx provides drug trial data to potential bidders -sources
(Adds details about sale process, data dispute)
NEW YORK, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc has given potential buyers, including Amgen Inc , access to trial data on its new cancer drug, removing a key hurdle that was holding up deal talks, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The company's attempt to sell itself for around $9.5 billion hit an impasse in recent weeks after lead bidder Amgen sought trial data about blood cancer drug Kyprolis - something that Onyx was reluctant to share, Reuters reported last week.
Onyx provided the information this week to Amgen and other parties involved in the sale process, and is now waiting for a firm offer, the people said on Wednesday.
Discussions could still fall apart and there is no guarantee a deal will happen, they cautioned.
All the people were not authorized to speak with the media and asked not to be identified. Representatives for Onyx and Amgen declined to comment.
Amgen, the drugmaker in advanced talks to buy Onyx for $130 per share, or about $9.5 billion based on shares outstanding, had asked to see data from an ongoing trial on Kyprolis in order to better evaluate the treatment, people familiar with the matter said previously.
Onyx initially had been reluctant to give the information because the study is continuing. Details of the trial data that Onyx made available to potential buyers could not be learned.
South San Francisco, California-based Onyx put itself up for sale in late June after spurning a $120-per-share offer from Amgen as significantly undervaluing the company. While Onyx has been in talks with other parties, including AstraZeneca, it remains unclear if a rival bid will emerge.
Access to the trial data had proved to be a sticky point in the negotiations since the sales potential of Kyprolis - a drug that treats multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer - hinges on the outcome of the clinical studies.
The drug was approved last year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration based on robust mid-stage trial results, but full approval is contingent on the outcome of Phase 3 trials.
Kyprolis, given intravenously, is currently used for patients whose myeloma has worsened despite at least two prior therapies. Successful trials would allow Onyx to expand that to patients who have failed just one treatment - a larger market currently dominated by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd's Velcade.
(Reporting by Soyoung Kim in New York, additional reporting by Deena Beasley in Los Angeles,; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)