Bullish Actelion once again heats up as a possible takeover target

Now that Actelion ($ATLN) has safely walked away with an FDA approval of its new lung disease drug Opsumit, Bloomberg's Real M&A team has put it back on its list of top takeover targets (though FierceBiotech was surprised to hear that Actelion was ever off the buyout radar.) Once the late-stage data came in positive back in the spring of 2012, analysts were able to heave a sigh of relief about the company's future. The drug developer had relied on Tracleer for much of its $9 billion valuation, and now there's a successor to help fight off growing competition for the PAH market as well as a late-stage follow-up, selexipag, in the clinic. Actelion is just small enough to fit within a few Big Pharma's takeover strategies but too large to draw many bidders. "The risk is out and it's going to make it more attractive and easier for the company to be valued," Philippe Comby, New York-based co-manager of Hottinger Capital Corp., tells Bloomberg. "It's probably an M&A candidate for sure now." For the record, Bayer, Novartis ($NVS) and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) were all highlighted as potential bidders, but declined to comment. This is one dance where all the moves are well choreographed. Story

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