May 17, 2020

Amgen Purchases New Cancer Drug Through Onyx Pharmaceuticals

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3 min
Amgen Purchases New Cancer Drug Through Onyx Pharmaceuticals .jpg
Written by Alyssa Clark In an extremely expensive transaction this past weekend, Amgen agreed to buy Onyx Pharmaceuticals for an astounding $10.4 bill...

Written by Alyssa Clark

 

In an extremely expensive transaction this past weekend, Amgen agreed to buy Onyx Pharmaceuticals for an astounding $10.4 billion due to their groundbreaking discoveries in three anticancer treatments.

Breaking into the anticancer drug realm, Amgen (being one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies) has finally caught the fever in developing anticancer treatments and decided to get “in on the action” by acquiring Onyx’s latest research and products. The contract states that Amgen will offer $125 a share in cash with a tender offer for Onyx’s shares, and will close at the end of the fourth quarter.

This deal is the second largest in Amgen’s history behind the 2002 Immunex deal that occurred in 2002.

Constantly trying to keep product lines fresh and up-to-date with the most modern industry-affiliated drugs, the pharmaceutical industry has seen some infamous takeovers throughout its days as they try to remain on top of an ever-changing industry like the pharmaceutical one. Aside from the industry-known Sanofi-Aventis and Gilead Sciences takeovers in the past years, this take-over of Amgen’s will now rank within the Top 5 biggest takeovers of any pharmaceutical company, especially in biotechnology, according to the numbers recorded from the Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ.

The spike and consistent value of biotechnology stock has given biotech companies little or no desire to part with their stock, thus generating a gap within the market. With this constant desire for more and more takeovers throughout the industry, this deal was surprisingly slow in its cultivation and execution over the years.

“Amgen has a unique opportunity to add value to Kyprolis, a product which is at an early and promising stage of its launch,” Robert A. Bradway, chief executive of Amgen, based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., said in a statement Sunday.

The newly acquired Amgen drug, within its first 6 months of sales, had recorded sales of $125 million in just that short time-span alone. After winning approval from the necessary inter-industry officials, analysts project that the drug will continue to grow and sustain to an incredible $2 billion over the next several years if the drug begins being used earlier on in the treatment process.

These specific anticancer drugs named Kyprolis were designed to target multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer, and were approved in the United States last July. Another drug that Amgen already sells for cancer treatment is entitled Vectibix which treats colorectal cancer, but sales haven’t been up to the company’s expectation.

Industry competition is sure to be increased by the acquisition with the industry already being led by Celegene, and their blockbuster drug Revlimid. Another drug, by the same company, named Pomalyst will compete directly with Kyprolis thus generating even more competition within this already innately competitive industry. Another potential negative would be the cost: if Kyprolis is approved, it is likely that the drug will have to be used simultaneously with another anticancer drug like Celegene which will up patient and company costs.

However, Amgen maintains more than enough financial means to support its recent decision and the company stands firmly behind the recent takeover. Amgen is more than excited about the upcoming potential gain from this purchase, and is fully prepared with $8.1 billion in bank loans and $22 billion in cash for any bumps along their way to future successes. 

 

About the Author

Alyssa Clark is the Editor of Healthcare Global

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Jun 17, 2021

Peloton vulnerable to cyber attacks, McAfee research finds

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fitness
Cybersecurity
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2 min
​​​​​​​Software security experts McAfee discovered exercise bikes by Peloton are vulnerable to cyber attacks, which the company have since resolved 

Peloton, the popular exercise bikes, were found to be vulnerable to cyber attacks in the latest research from McAfee. 

Peloton is a brand of electric bikes that combines high end exercise equipment with cutting-edge technology. Its products use wi fi to connect to a large tablet that interfaces with the components of the exercise device, and provides an easy way for physical activity enthusiasts to attend virtual workout classes over the internet several times a week.

Peloton has garnered attention recently around the privacy and security of its products. So McAfee decided to take a look for themselves and purchased a Peloton Bike+.

The problem

Researchers looked at the Android devices and uncovered a vulnerability  that could allow an attacker with either physical access to the Bike+ or access during any point in the supply chain to gain to hack into the bike’s tablet, including the camera, microphone and personal data. 

For the person using it there would be no indication the Bike+ has been tampered with, potentially putting Peloton’s 16.7 million users at risk.  

The flaw was found in the Android Verified Boot (AVB) process. McAfee researchers were able to bypass the Android Verified Boot process, which normally verifies all code and data before booting. They were then able to get the device to boot bypassing this step. 

This could potentially lead to the Android OS being compromised by an attacker who is physically present. Even worse, the attacker could boot up the Peloton with a modified credential to gain privileges, granting them access to the bike remotely. 

As the attacker never has to unlock the device to boot it up, there would be no trace of their access on the device. This type of attack could also happen at any point from construction to warehouse to delivery, by installing a backdoor into the Android tablet without the user ever knowing. 

The solution

Given the simplicity and criticality of the flaw, McAfee informed Peloton while auditing was ongoing. The vendor was sent full details,  and shortly after, Peloton confirmed the issue and released a fix for it. 

Further conversations between McAfee and  Peloton confirmed that this vulnerability had also been present on the Peloton Tread exercise equipment. 

Peloton’s Head of Global Information Security Adrian Stone, commented on the research: “This vulnerability reported by McAfee would require direct, physical access to a Peloton Bike+ or Tread. Like with any connected device in the home, if an attacker is able to gain physical access to it, additional physical controls and safeguards become increasingly important.

"To keep our members safe, we acted quickly and in coordination with McAfee. We pushed a mandatory update in early June and every device with the update installed is protected from this issue.”

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