Cash-hungry biotechs fear Pfizer/Wyeth deal

Pfizer has been sending some clear signals recently that it fully intends to be an aggressive buyer of biotech assets. But its deal yesterday to pay $68 billion in cash and stock for Wyeth is leaving a host of developers feeling that the takeaway message now is that they're likely to be forgotten.

Andrew Pollack of the New York Times sizes up the reaction to the merger in the biotech industry, where many had predicted that Pfizer's growing interest in biotechnology would lead to a merger with the likes of Amgen or Biogen Idec and a host of buyout deals for smaller companies as well. With venture capital drying up and cash running low at thousands of biotech companies, there's no shortage of entrepreneurs who feel that a potential lifeline has suddenly disappeared.

"There are probably 5,000 biotech companies out there that are waiting for a deal to save them," Oleg Nodelman, portfolio manager at the Biotechnology Value Fund, tells The Times.

Pfizer, for its part, says that it remains the same eager player that it was before it settled on Wyeth. "We are going to continue to look at opportunities for innovative drugs and technology," says Corey S. Goodman, the president of Pfizer's Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center.  

- read the report from The New York Times

ALSO: Xconomy offers a few more perspectives from San Diego, where Wyeth has been an active player in the biotech scene. "It means one less target, one less pot of capital," says Regulus CEO Kleanthis Xanthopoulos. Story

PLUS: TheStreet says the Wyeth deal will also bulk up on the number of experimental Alzheimer's drugs Pfizer will have in the pipeline. Report