Leaner Actelion might draw interest as M&A action heats up

Amgen ($AMGN) wants to buy Onyx Pharmaceuticals ($ONXX) and Roche reportedly is interested in Alexion ($ALXN). Big Pharma is obviously hungry for some M&A action and, in the mind of one watcher, a slimmed down Actelion ($ATLN) might be a nice meal for one of them. "Appetite seems on the rise," Andrew Weiss, an analyst at Bank Vontobel in Zurich told investors after the Swiss company reported improved earnings following job cuts. According to Bloomberg, Weiss reminded investors that Amgen showed interest in Actelion in 2010. He likes the look of the company these days and said: "Big pharma may become interested again." The Swiss drugmaker had seen sales of its primary product, blood pressure drug Tracleer, soften. But in an earnings report Thursday its second quarter earnings beat estimates and it raised its full-year profit picture to double-digit growth from an earlier indication it would be flat. Tracleer brought in CHF 1.5 billion, or about $1.63 billion, last year but goes off patent beginning in 2016. The company said yesterday it hopes to get FDA approval for its successor, Opsumit, yet this year. Story | More