Biogen Idec makes a shopping list for buyouts and licensing deals

With close to $800 million in the bank and an ambitious crew of executives now in charge, Biogen Idec's research chief says the big biotech is actively hunting out new acquisitions and licensing deals. In an interview with Bloomberg, Doug Williams--the former head of ZymoGenetics until BMS bought the company out--highlighted Biogen's interest in experimental MS programs, neurodegenerative drugs in general along with hematology and immunology. And he added that Biogen ($BIIB) has a particularly sharp appetite for Phase I and Phase II programs.

"We see a lot of things, and people know that we have access to capital to put to use for these types of transactions," Williams confidently told the business news service. "We are recognized as being the leader in the space and have the wherewithal to get transactions done."

With that kind of tantalizing bait chumming the waters, Bloomberg quickly turned to the latest speculation among the analysts about some big potential M&A targets. Both Elan and Acorda--two MS drug developers already partnered with Biogen--have been touted as possible takeover candidates.

Biogen has clearly been reenergized by the arrival of George Scampos at the Weston, MA headquarters building. In particular, encouraging results for BG-12, a possible mega-blockbuster, have piqued analysts' interest in its seven late-stage programs.

- here's the article from Bloomberg