Amylin's fate awaits today's vote

Today's the big day for Amylin Pharmaceuticals and its rebel investors. Shareholders will choose between current management and a management overhaul, between company nominees to its board and candidates supported by activist investor Carl Icahn (photo) and Eastbourne Capital Management.

In an eleventh hour pitch to shareholders late yesterday, Amylin argued that its board nominees are experienced and knowledgeable--but the fight isn't really about the candidates themselves. The arguments are familiar by now: On one side, the dissidents say Amylin fumbled its diabetes med Byetta and company leadership needs some serious guidance. On the other, the company says it's on track with Byetta and its long-acting successor now awaiting FDA approval, and that the rebels just want to cash in somehow.

But despite the war of words, PowerPoint presentations, press releases and SEC filings, today's vote won't be a watershed moment, really. Even if Icahn and Eastbourne's entire slate of five candidates wins, they won't have a majority on the board. Unless they can woo some current board members to their cause, the new directors can't boot out current Amylin management, for instance. They would, however, have more opportunity to persuade--in person, not via letter and slide deck. We'll keep you posted.

- see Amylin's last-minute release
- read the San Diego Union-Tribune article

ALSO: In another Icahn-fueled proxy fight, Biogen Idec made another pitch to stockholders for votes in advance of next week's annual meeting. Release