Report: Clovis ditches sale plans after bids never show

Clovis Oncology CEO Patrick Mahaffy

Clovis Oncology is scuttling plans to sell itself, according to a report, finding the market for promising biotechs to be a bit less bullish than it had expected.

As Bloomberg's sources say, Clovis ($CLVS) spoke with a few potential acquirers after putting up a "for sale" sign last week, but, finding no one willing to pay upward of $2.2 billion, the company is now looking at other options. On the news, Clovis' shares slipped 13% in pre-market trading, settling at about $64 Wednesday morning.

While the lack of 10-figure interest in a company unlikely to make a dollar for at least two years might seem obvious in hindsight, this year's surge of sky-high biotech valuations makes nearly anything seem possible. And Clovis, with its pipeline of promising treatments in the hot cancer market, is hardly a fly-by-night drug developer.

Back in June, the company's shares shot up about 80% on news that its PARP inhibitor rucaparib benefited a majority of advanced ovarian cancer patients in an early-stage trial, and CO-1686, Clovis' EGFR-targeted non-small cell lung cancer drug, has made some Phase I noise of its own.

The Boulder, CO, company has watched its shares nearly quadruple since the start of the year, and it has been on an upward swing since raising $130 million in a $13-a-share IPO in 2011.

- read the Bloomberg story

Special Report: Clovis Oncology - 2009 Fierce 15