Savient shares rise on Amgen takeover talk

Shares of Savient Pharmaceuticals (SVNT) were up as much as 5 percent today on rumors that Amgen is interested in acquiring the company. Savient has submitted a BLA for its closely-watched gout drug Krystexxa, which industry-watchers say could hit the market late next year. Analysts observe that Amgen's sales force, which is trained to sell rheumatology drugs, could easily sell Krystexxa as well.

"We have always viewed Krystexxa as an attractive tuck-in acquisition for many companies with rheumatology franchises," Leerink Swann analyst Joseph Schwartz said. Other companies that would fit the bill for a deal include Abbott Labs, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. Savient's stock is currently priced at $15 a share; Schwartz speculates that if a deal is done, the company would be sold for $20 per share, while another analyst predicts a buyout as high as $25 per share.

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