BMS bid triggers deal talk

Have you noticed that one deal announcement inevitably leads to speculation of another? Well, yesterday's bombshell that Bristol-Myers Squibb had offered $60 a share for ImClone was no exception. Now, the talk goes a few ways: One, will the ImClone deal make BMS more attractive as a takeover target itself? Two, does this deal herald more pharma-biotech tie-ups in the near future?

The New York Times looks at the latter possibility, which at this point seems something of a no-brainer. Pharma's appetite for biotech deals is voracious right now, as drugmakers look to fill their anemic pipelines with promising meds and to make up future sales losses to generic competition. But the NYT names names--or at least names the companies that saw their stocks jump on the BMS announcement as investors bet that they might be bought out by their drugmaker partners. One example is Amylin Pharmaceuticals, which partnered with Eli Lilly on a diabetes med. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amgen options also saw a lot of action.

Then the WSJ Health Blog passes on an analyst assessment of Bristol's sellability post-ImClone buyout. Sanford Bernstein's Tim Anderson--who's pegged BMS as an acquisition target before--says that buying its Erbitux partner makes BMS "a more sellable company." It would not only have full Erbitux rights, but several experimental biotech meds, too. And BMS has been streamlining itself, which could make it more attractive to a buyer. Only problem is its size; at a $40 billion market cap, only a major player could swallow it.

- see the NYT story
- read the post at the Health Blog
- check out the WSJ article

ALSO: Wall Street has been in a tough spot these last few months, with the S&P 500 losing 9.5 percent over the course of June and July. But the biotech industry has emerged as a safe haven for investors in the face of poor performance in other sectors. Report