Anytime you talk about buyout buzz in biotech, there are always plenty of candidates for the Top 10 list. Perhaps too many. After a certain point, it can be hard to discern exactly why some of these companies are on anyone's list. Seattle Genetics' ($SGEN) name has come up from time to time, though the company has done absolutely nothing to encourage it. But once Adcetris was approved, the antibody-drug conjugate pioneer automatically became a target in some analysts' calculations.
Earlier, Chris Raymond, an analyst at Robert W. Baird, pulled Alexion ($ALXN) out of the hat, along with Human Genome Sciences (correct), BioMarin (above) and Dendreon ($DNDN), which seems to have more trouble trying to market Provenge than it can handle. Alexion has made Soliris, the world's priciest rare disease drug, into a blockbuster product. And if you've been paying attention, successful single-product companies--especially in rare diseases--are mighty attractive.
Regeneron ($REGN) has had to do the honors this year in declining comment that its Big Pharma partner Sanofi ($SNY) is thinking of moving in to snap it up.
There are plenty of good reasons for a tie-up, but Regeneron seems happy with the way things are. Perhaps if their PCSK9 partnership looks as good as Sanofi thinks, though, a deal could ripen.
In the summer Piper Jaffray was telling clients that Affymax ($AFFY), Theravance ($THRX), and Rigel Pharmaceuticals ($RIGL) were also candidates. As I noted at the time, with this much smoke, it seems likely that we'll see some more fire on the M&A front. But clear vision will also be in short supply.
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