Bid-happy analysts play matchup

Analysts just can't get their minds off which drugmakers might make a deal next. The most recent suspects are Bayer and Onyx, which are partnered on the liver and kidney cancer med Nexavar. One industry observer pointed out that both the Roche-Genentech offer and the Bristol-ImClone bid include lucrative cancer meds. And if you're looking at cancer meds, this one naturally comes to mind. Onyx shares leapt accordingly last week.

And then there's Johnson & Johnson and Vertex. They're partners; Vertex is working on a drug for hepatitis C, and J&J doesn't have those U.S. rights. So snapping up the whole company might be attractive. "Not cheap, but look what you get," one analyst wrote to investors.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank's Barbara Ryan threw some cold water on speculation that Eli Lilly might buy out Amylin for full access to Byetta, the diabetes med. New scrips for that drug have been flat lately, she said. Plus, Amylin is "a one-product story," whereas Genentech and ImClone have more to offer.

- read the post at the Wall Street Journal Health Blog
- check out the item at Pharmalot

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