Fitch Ratings is raising the flag on pharma M&A. The credit ratings agency says the current spate of dealmaking is putting some pressure on European Big Pharma players.
Adding $10 billion to its stock buyback program might mean Merck & Co. wants to keep investors happy as its sales continue to shrink. That would be the typical explanation. But The Wall Street Journal sees a different possibility--one the rest of the industry might want to pay attention to.
Pharmacyclics CEO Robert Duggan would add $3.5 billion to his already substantial wealth, if and when AbbVie's $21 billion buyout goes through. But considering Duggan's record, a multibillion-dollar payoff is to be expected. It's the other executives and directors--who together qualify for more than $575 million--who could inspire M&A envy.
After agreeing to shell out a pretty penny for Imbruvica-maker Pharmacyclics earlier this month, AbbVie chief Richard Gonzalez assured investors that the drug had plenty of market growth ahead--and that much of that growth would come from moving into earlier lines of treatment in its approved indications, including CLL. Now, new Phase III results suggest the med is on the right track in that department.
Now that AbbVie has managed to astonish just about everyone in the biopharma business with its $21 billion takeover of Pharmacyclics, there's been a deluge of speculation over the next big target in the M&A game. Yesterday, Bloomberg 's restless team of deal-watchers proffered Bristol-Myers Squibb as a possibility, seeing as how the Big Biotech is now the clear leader in immuno-oncology, where it could be in line for $15 billion in peak sales.
Even after the past two years of deals, AbbVie's decision to pay $21 billion for Pharmacyclics, bagging half interest in the blockbuster cancer drug Imbruvica, managed to get jaws to drop among even the most jaded biotech analysts.
After nixing his company's $55 billion deal for Shire last fall, AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez reminded investors that his company still had the "wherewithal to be active on the M&A front." Now, he's putting his money where his mouth is--and shelling out $21 billion for cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics.
So far, the 2014 pharma deal blitz has continued right on into 2015. And cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics could be the next company to keep it going.
Pharmacyclics CEO Bob Duggan thinks all his employees could become geniuses. Or so he tells Investor's Business Daily, citing research from psychologist Alfred Barrios. Duggan has Pharmacyclics staffers taking a 24-week training course to acquire the 24 personality traits Barrios identified in top achievers such as Einstein, Shakespeare and Socrates.
Pharmacyclics and Servier are quietly walking away from a 5-year collaboration on a new cancer treatment, leaving the former company to go it alone on mid-stage oral drug with an uncertain future.