Amarin's near-term potential prompts buyout interest

London's Amarin says interesting from potential buyers and partners has prompted the company to hire a financial adviser to review its strategic alternatives. The company has no approved products but last year reported promising late-stage data for its triglyceride-reducing drug AMR101. Full results will be reported in April of this year.

Jon LeCroy, an analyst with Hapoalim Securities in New York, tells Bloomberg that Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Merck could be be interested in a buyout since they already have cholesterol drug franchises. AMR101 has the potential to earn $1 billion annually, he added, meaning the acquisition price for Amarin could rest around $4 billion. The company's near-term potential could prove particularly enticing to big pharma companies looking to add to their cardio franchises. If approved, AMR101's only competition would be GSK's Lovanza, which earns about $700 million a year.

- read the Bloomberg report