BMS won out against other pharmas in bid for RayzeBio, just days after competing for Karuna

Bristol Myers Squibb is proving its worth as an M&A competitor, coming out on top not once but twice in terms of fresh acquisitions. Most recently, the pharma’s $4.1 billion bid for radiopharmaceuticals biotech RayzeBio was enough to beat out two other companies that also put down offers.

The Dec. 26 buyout came just four days after the Big Pharma acquired neuro-focused Karuna Therapeutics for $14 billion—another bid that won out against competitors.

In the case of RayzeBio, the San Diego-based biotech engaged with three “global biopharmaceutical companies” about potential partnerships, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed Jan. 25.

Ultimately, all three pharmas put down bids for the biotech on Dec. 22. RayzeBio considered all offers competitive and informed BMS and the other two bidders, referred to only as “Party A” and “Party B,” of this. BMS went back to the drawing board, upping the ante from a $48 cash-per-share offer to $62.50 per share, which equates to an equity value of $4.1 billion. 

That offer was ultimately victorious, with a share price more than triple the $18 that RayzeBio secured for its September IPO and double the $30.50 that the stock was trading at right before the deal closed.

The competition—and winning price—are a sign of how much the radiopharma race has heated up. The purchase allows BMS to go up against leading radiopharma player Novartis and, potentially in the near future, Eli Lilly. Unlike Novartis’ approved radiopharma therapies Lutathera and Pluvicto, which use a beta-emitting isotope called lutetium, RayzeBio’s platform is based on an alpha-emitting isotope called actinium-225.

The acquisition also includes RayzeBio’s almost-complete “state-of-the-art” manufacturing facility in Indianapolis.