A few years back, Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) swallowed rival biotech Immunex in a landmark $16 billion cash and stock deal. This morning, it was at it again, agreeing to buy the roughly 80% of drug developer Tularik (NASDAQ:TLRK) it doesn't already own. The all-stock deal is valued at $1.3 billion.

When the Immunex deal was announced in late 2001, Fool analyst Tom Jacobs felt that Amgen overpaid, though with its own overpriced shares. To the table, Immunex brought blockbuster injectable rheumatoid arthritis treatment Enbrel to complement Amgen's dynamic trio of Aranesp, Epogen, and Neupogen.

Unlike Immunex, Tularik offers no blockbuster, but five candidates, along with a proprietary gene-expression platform focused on oncology, inflammation, and metabolic disease. Perhaps the biggest similarity between the two deals is that like Immunex, Tularik doesn't come cheap.

Still, even at a hefty 47% premium to Tularik's Friday close, the deal makes some sense given that Amgen already owns 21% of Tularik. In addition, Amgen cites Tularik's location in South San Francisco as accelerating the company's expansion into the biotech hotbed, where Genentech (NYSE:DNA) has thrived.

Go ahead and gripe about the price, but it's hard to argue with Amgen's track record or with its latest play. Apparently, the market agrees: Amgen is up almost 3% to $59.71 in early afternoon trading.

What do you think of the acquisition? Give us your take on the Amgen discussion board.

Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns none of the companies mentioned above.