BioMarin climbs on rumors it may be Sanofi's Medivation backup

BioMarin

Sanofi is pushing full steam ahead with its hostile takeover try for Medivation. But rumor has it the California drugmaker may not be the only one on its target list.

Shares of rare-disease drugmaker BioMarin climbed Friday morning on speculation that that the French pharma giant could be zeroing in on it as a backup plan. At least, that’s the word from the Betaville blog, whose sources say Sanofi is growing weary of Medivation’s staunch resistance to its $52.50-per-share offer.

Of course, it’s all just buzz at this point, and as industry watchers know, buzz often amounts to nothing--especially where BioMarin is concerned. Last March, Betaville reported on a potential $65-billion Shire buyout of the San Rafael, California-based company that never came to fruition. And in 2013, the BioMarin takeover chatter was all centered on Roche, which reportedly was eyeing a $13.5 billion transaction.

Things are a little different now, though, as Betaville points out. BioMarin, like many of its biotech peers, has seen its shares fall on hard times, declining from a high near $150 last summer to just above $80 at Thursday’s close.

Sanofi, though, may have its priorities elsewhere. When laying out turnaround plans for the company early last November, new CEO Olivier Brandicourt outlined the areas where he already considered the company a market leader—rare diseases among them. Oncology, on the other hand, represented a business that needed bulking up to claim a spot in the top ranks, he said.

And that’s what a Medivation deal would do for Sanofi, which earlier this week dispatched ballots to Medivation shareholders in an attempt to wipe clean its slate of directors. The San Francisco drugmaker boasts high-flying prostate cancer pill Xtandi, a product that’s reportedly helped it draw interest from other Big Pharma players including Pfizer, Novartis and AstraZeneca.

- read the Betaville post 

Special Reports: The top 15 pharma comapnies by 2014 revenue - SanofiTop 15 Drug Launch Superstars - Xtandi - Medivation and Astellas Pharma 

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