January 11, 2008, 1:43 pm
Biogen Idec CEO: Big Pharma Didn’t Have the Guts to Buy Us
Posted by Jacob Goldstein
In the drug business, the biggest non-deal of ‘07 had to be Biogen Idec putting itself up for sale amid much fanfare — then taking itself off the block after it didn’t receive a single offer.
You’d think Big Pharma, desperate to get into the biotech business, would have rushed to bid on an established company that not only has biotech know-how but also successful products already on the market. So why didn’t Biogen get any offers? Big Pharma didn’t have the guts, Biogen CEO Jim Mullen told the Boston Globe.
The companies’ more conservative research cultures mean “they never would have pursued some of the drugs we pursued or Genzyme pursued,” he told the paper. (Like Biogen, Genzyme is a mid-sized biotech based in Mass.)
And the companies may have lingering concerns about Tysabri, the multiple sclerosis drug that was pulled from the market because of safety concerns and has been cautiously re-introduced. “I think there is a fair bit of fear, loathing, and tort out there,” Mullen said at the JPMorgan investor conference in San Francisco this week, according to the Globe.
Mullen brushed aside the suggestion that the sale was doomed to fail because potential buyers were barred from negotiating ahead of time with Genentech and Elan, which co-market Rituxan and Tysabri with Biogen. And he added that the company is just fine on its own.
“Some say we need a business relationship with big pharma - for what?” Mullen said, according to the Globe. “There’s nothing we need help from strategically or in terms of operations from big pharma.” Biogen Idec ceo Jim Mullen thinks he knows why no one bid for his company - big pharma is too conservative and his biotech looked too risky. “They never would have pursued some of the drugs we pursued or Genzyme pursued,” he tells The Boston Globe. And he seems quite happy that a sale didn’t occur. “Some say we need a business relationship with big pharma - for what? There’s nothing we need help from strategically or in terms of operations from big pharma.”
The price tag was estimated at $25 billion to $30 billion, making it one of biotech’s biggest deals, but that was also seen as quite rich. Specifically, Mullen says some prospective bidders were concerned about Tysabri, Biogen’s MS drug, which was temporarily pulled from the market almost three years ago after being linked to a rare brain disease. Some fear the problem could happen again, even though Biogen has repeatedly tried to reassure Wall Street by noting that there haven’t been any recurrences of the disease since the drug returned to the market in 2006.
“I think there is a fair bit of fear, loathing, and tort out there,” Mullen told investors at the JP Morgan investor conference in San Francisco this week, referring to the threat of lawsuits.
In addition, Mullen said some prospective Biogen Idec buyers were uncomfortable with the company’s partnerships for its two other major drugs. Biogen Idec shares the rights to Avonex, another MS treatment, with Elan. And it works with Genentech to market Rituxan, which treats non-Hodgkins lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. Both Elan and Genentech had options to buy Biogen Idec’s stake in the drugs in the event of a sale, leading some to wonder whether they could potentially block a deal.
But Mullen disputed reports that Biogen’s sale process was so restrictive that it may have kept some potential buyers at bay. While they were barred from trying to negotiate with Elan or Genentech before submitting an offer, he says, they would have had a chance to do so before completing the deal.
“I think the process was thorough,” Mullen told investors. “I thought it was professional.” [标签:content1][标签:content2]
作者:admin@医学,生命科学 2011-08-28 17:17