ImClone buyout could founder over drug dispute

The jockeying over price and potential that's taking place between ImClone and its would-be buyer Bristol-Myers Squibb may well boil down to resolving who controls the rights to the future successor of the blockbuster cancer med Erbitux. According to the Wall Street Journal, ImClone says it owns the rights to the next-gen drug, IMC-11F8, which isn't likely to appear for several years. Bristol-Myers is contesting that position, though. And the fight could come to a head if ImClone decides to spin off its pipeline of new drugs, which some analysts say could be worth up to a billion dollars. Ownership of the experimental drug could take years to clarify.

"My read is that the contract language is nebulous," Cowen & Co. analyst Eric Schmidt said. There is "clearly room for [Bristol] to claim one thing and [ImClone] the other."

- read the article in the Wall Street Journal

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