Should Big Pharma snap up Cubist?

Over the past several months of M&A fever, matchmaking has become a standard parlor game in pharma-slash-biotech circles. And now you can all add a new name to your fantasy dealmaking rosters, Bloomberg suggests: Cubist Pharmaceuticals, which has pumped up an abandoned drug into a potential blockbuster.

Cubist bought the Cubicin antibiotic from Eli Lilly way back in 1997. The smaller company ushered the drug onto the market and built sales momentum. Big-time momentum, because the drug's revenues jumped by 45 percent last year to $414.7 million. CEO Michael Bonney told Bloomberg that he fully expects Cubicin to top the $1 billion blockbuster threshold.

Targeted at the multidrug-resistant form of staph--the dreaded MRSA--Cubicin currently is the only drug on the market in that niche. Meanwhile, both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are trying to get their MRSA drug candidates onto the market, having acquired them in deals with smaller drug developers. 

All of which makes Cubist a rather tasty morsel for some Big Pharma looking to replace soon-to-be-former blockbusters. With drugmakers' biggest products nearing the end of their patent lives, companies need the kind of revenue stream Cubicin promises. And Bonney tells Bloomberg that he's not averse to a buyout. But he's not actively seeking a buyer, either. Let's make a deal?

- read the Bloomberg article

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