Biogen CEO: Pharma too wimpy to deal

Biogen Idec CEO to Big Pharma: You just didn't have the guts to make a deal. In an interview with the Boston Globe this week, Biogen honcho Jim Mullen said major drug makers are more conservative than smaller biotechs like Biogen and its crosstown neighbor Genzyme. "They never would have pursued some of the drugs we pursued," Mullen said.

In other words, biotech is daring, pharma is timid; biotech is Mighty Mouse, pharma is the huge, whimpering lion with a thorn in its paw.

Mullen went on to detail specific problems with the deal: Tysabri, Biogen's MS drug that has faced safety problems in the past but could deliver blockbuster sales if they can be avoided in future. And then there are Biogen's major partnerships with Elan and Genentech, which could have complicated dealmaking.

Or could it have been that, at $25 billion to $30 billion, Biogen was just overpriced, as some industry observers and analysts have suggested? Nah.

- read the article from the Boston Globe