Target: Ardea Biosciences
Buyer: AstraZeneca ($AZN)
Price: $1.3 billion
Closed: June 20, 2012
One of the last things CEO David Brennan did before being shown the door was fork over $1.3 billion so AstraZeneca could get its hands on Ardea's promising gout treatment candidate. In some ways, it seemed a deal born of desperation.
Brennan was under pressure to do something about its pipeline after a series of setbacks, like the implosion of its depression drug program it had partnered on with Targacept ($TRGT). With the Ardea deal, AstraZeneca ventured into a field completely outside the realm of its expertise. The question now is whether new CEO Pascal Soriot sees value in pursuing the program.