Novartis is gobbling up a startup biotech in the U.S. that could help provide an entry into the frenzied race for PD-1 targeting therapies, announcing this morning that it had struck a deal to buy CoStim Pharmaceuticals, a low-profile biotech based in Cambridge, MA, and listed as part of Atlas Venture's group of companies.
The biotech has struck a deal with little Prothelia and the University of Nevada, Reno, where it will step in and conduct development research on a protein replacement therapy for merosin-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy, or MDC1A.
When hedge fund veteran Martin Shkreli debuted Retrophin, his biotech play, more than few market watchers reacted with healthy skepticism and even open mockery. But now the company's plans to cash in with a rare-disease treatment have made it a hit with investors, with shares skyrocketing more than 40%.
While talks of a rumored swap between Merck's consumer-goods business and Novartis' animal health and vaccines units have cooled, sources now tell The Wall Street Journal they expect industry heavyweights to put in bids that could surpass $10 billion, and Merck has already received preliminary offers for the business.
Nothing makes analysts happier these days than a prospective spinoff. And with a new chairman stepping in to help conduct the ongoing strategic review of the struggling Reckitt Benckiser pharma unit, some say one could be on the way for the British group.
Biopharma's M&A rate jumped 11% in 2013 with the average deal value soaring 46%, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, and analysts expect that healthy flow to continue into the new year.
Mallinckrodt has taken a major step toward hitting its goal of boosting revenues as much as 11% a year by announcing it would acquire Cadence Pharmaceuticals for $1.3 billion, or $14 a share, a 26% premium over Cadence's closing price yesterday.
Two of the biggest players in Brazil's medical diagnostics industry are likely to confront major changes in the coming months-- both worth noting as global competitors seek to enter one of the largest emerging markets around.
The planned transcontinental marriage between South America's CFR and South Africa's Adcock Ingram had been on shaky grounds for some time. But the engagement has been officially dissolved, thwarted by a jealous shareholder. The question now is whether the drugmaker will be forced back into the arms of a suitor it has arlready spurned.
Weeks ago, Myriad Genetics alarmed investors when news broke that Medicare reimbursement for its signature predictive cancer test would be slashed nearly in half. Now, in the wake of stellar financial results and news of a major acquisition, investors are in the midst of an ongoing "happy dance."