GSK laments M&A rush, pursues rare diseases

GlaxoSmithKline has already done a dozen deals since CEO Andrew Witty took over in 2008. But the Pharma giant would have pursued more deals if the price of acquiring novel drugs weren't so high. Calling rivals "desperate," research chief Moncef Slaoui tells Bloomberg that the price of novel therapy acquisitions have been inflated by competitors' bids.

"Some of our competitors are desperate because they pay just an incredible price for some medicines," Slaoui told the news service. "And if it's a matter of life or death for them, then maybe it makes sense for them, but not to us. So sometimes we may lose some partnerships for financial reasons, which is frustrating." About half of GSK's research pipeline is made up of therapies acquired from outside companies.

In the interview, Slaoui reveals a juicy piece of information: next month, GSK will unveil plans to develop more drugs for rare diseases, though he declined to name what diseases the company will pursue, or where it will look for deals. Rare disease treatments are subject to less pricing pressure than drugs that treat common illnesses which have multiple treatment options. GSK has already made aggressive moves into emerging markets as part of its bid to diversify.

- read the Bloomberg article