Who's the next biotech buyout target?

With Astellas Pharma and OSI Pharmaceuticals haggling over price, BNet Pharma wonders which biotechs could be next on the buyout menu. Mega-mergers might have been all the rage in 2009; however, with few targets left, the focus will shift to smaller acquisitions. Big Biotechs Biogen Idec and Gezyme could be on the menu, given Carl Icahn's involvement in the companies.

So which smaller developers could be targets? Here's BNet's list:

  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals' promising hepatitis c drug telaprevir is in Phase III trials, and the company has a pipeline of drugs that features treatments for cystic fibrosis, epilepsy and inflammatory diseases

  • GlaxoSmithKline is already partnered with Human Genome Sciences on its lupus drug Benlysta, which analysts predict could lead to $4 billion in sales.

  • Alexion Pharmaceuticals boasts Soliris, the world's most expensive drug, which pulls in about $400 million a year. The developer has four Phase II trials for other indications of the drug, which is currently approved for a rare blood disorder.

  • Sales of pulmonary arterial hypertension drugs Remodulin and Tyvaso have led United Therapeutics to $370 million in annual revenues.

  • With $844 million in sales last year, Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals' kidney and liver cancer drug Nexavar came close to the blockbuster mark. Four Phase III trials are testing the drug for additional indications

  • Auxilium Pharmaceuticals is looking for more uses for its Testim testosterone gel and Xiaflex, a drug for hand contracture disease.

  • Allos Therapeutics won approval last year for Folotyn as a treatment for peripheral T-cell lymphoma; trials for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma are under way.

- read the BNet article for more details