After Medivation, what's next? Alexion, BioMarin, Incyte could be Big Pharma's next M&A targets: Analysts

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Several Big Pharma and Big Biotech companies are in the hunt to acquire San Francisco’s Medivation--but only one will come away victorious. So once that happens, where might drugmakers turn next? The analysts at Credit Suisse have a few ideas.

Megamergers could fall out of favor over the next year, Vamil Divan wrote in a Tuesday note to clients. But small- to mid-sized deals up to $25 billion? Expect those aplenty given “the need many larger companies have to try and boost their growth prospects.”

If its marketed assets the big kahunas are looking for--such as Medivation’s prized prostate cancer pill Xtandi--they could look to Delaware’s Incyte, a $14.7 billion market-cap company that boasts myelofibrosis med Jakafi. Incyte could check another box for those particularly keen on bulking up in cancer, too: Its Epacadostat is entering Phase III combo studies alongside Merck immuno-oncology med Keytruda, and the candidate med is being studied in a range of other tumor types, too.

For those with a little more cash to spare, there’s Connecticut-based Alexion, a $27 billion company whose Soliris--the priciest med in the world--leads a portfolio of three approved rare-disease drugs. And rare-disease enthusiasts can also look to $13.3 billion BioMarin, the perennial subject of takeover buzz with 5 marketed meds and a host of pipeline prospects.

Sanofi, for one, may already be scoping out the California target, if last week’s rumors hold any weight. Shares of BioMarin climbed on word that the San Rafael company may be Sanofi’s backup plan if its hostile quest to swallow Medivation doesn’t bear fruit.

And if it does, peers Novartis, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Amgen, Gilead and others may be left wanting; reports have listed all of them as potential Medivation suitors.

But the analysts see plenty of deal prospects to go around, especially if buyers are willing to shop small. Alder Therapeutics, Coherus Biosciences, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Ultragenyx, Seattle Genetics and others all have the potential to go up for grabs, they figure.

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