Organon buyout raises questions about pipeline

The Wall Street Journal offers a careful analysis of Fred Hassan's decision to pursue the $14.4 billion buyout of Organon. After putting Schering-Plough back on its feet as a mid-sized drug company, Hassan is now relying on his deal-making skills to shoot for the big time. But for the Organon acquisition to be a big boost, analysts say that its experimental schizophrenia drug asenapine will need to be approved. Organon had been developing asenapine with Pfizer until last year, when Pfizer pulled out saying that trial data indicated that the drug did not offer a big enough improvement over existing therapies. Some analysts have also been scathingly dismissive of Organon's track record in R&D. Hassan, though, is widely respected on Wall Street.

- read this Wall Street Journal article on the buyout (sub. req.)