Bristol stays in hunt for Amylin

Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) still has eyes for Amylin Pharmaceuticals ($AMLN). After Amylin reportedly declined BMS' recent buyout offer, Bristol isn't giving up on its plans to gobble up the diabetes drugmaker, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation.

The news comes after Amylin balked at Bristol's $22-per-share cash offer, which company leaders deemed too low. Major Amylin shareholder and activist investor Carl Icahn is now on the case, calling for Amylin's management to launch a sales process and entice the kind of bidding that can ultimately benefit shareholders. 

Amylin, the maker of the diabetes drug Byetta and the long-acting version Bydureon, is a company with sales growth and products that large pharma players desperately need. And the San Diego-based biotech is no behemoth, with 2011 revenue of $650.7 million and a market cap as of this morning of about $3.6 billion.

Amylin fits the size profile that New York-based Bristol has been known to target in previous buyouts, with its industry-famous "string of pearls" acquisition strategy that avoids megamergers and favors deals that can be easily digested organizationally. Bristol also has a stake in the growing diabetes market with the drug Onglyza and its experimental treatment dapagliflozin, and both of those drugs are partnered with AstraZeneca ($AZN), the WSJ reported.

- read the WSJ article