BioMarin spike fades as Roche CEO guns down latest takeover rumor

Roche CEO Severin Schwan

Another day, another buyout rumor--though this one didn't last long. Today it was BioMarin's ($BMRN) turn in the takeover spotlight, after Dealreporter broke a story claiming that Roche was scouting for $15 billion to buy the rare-disease specialist.

Roche ($RHHBY) had been planning to make an overture to BioMarin this week, says the financial news service. BioMarin, which just completed an R&D review, saw its stock shoot up into record territory this morning as the rest of the financial news groups picked up the story.

Then, soon after the story appeared, Bloomberg fired back with a report quoting Roche CEO Severin Schwan saying that the pharma giant is not seeking financing.

BioMarin has a market cap of $10.8 billion, which puts it on the high side of what pharmas are willing to pay for an add-on company these days. BioMarin has also repeatedly been at the center of buyout rumors, but so far it's been all smoke and no fire.

This is also not the first time that Roche has been rumored to be in the market for a rare-disease biotech. Bloomberg has been reporting that Roche was scouting for cash to buy Alexion ($ALXN), maker of Soliris. Reuters helped cool that story, though, when Ben Hirschler reported that Roche pharma chief Daniel O'Day didn't see the ultra-orphan sector as part of their business.

BioMarin wouldn't be far off that mark.  

In its research update, BioMarin said that an FDA panel will review Vimizim for Morquio A Syndrome Nov. 19. The biotech also said that it had reached an agreement with the FDA on a trial design for its Pompe drug BMN 701, adding that the agency had lifted a clinical hold on the dwarfism drug BMN 111, according to an AP report. Jefferies analyst Eun Yang raised her price target to $86 a share, up from $72. Shares were trading north of $78 this morning.

- here's the item from The Wall Street Journal
- see the story from the AP on R&D day