Last week was a less-than-ideal one for Biogen--and the Massachusetts company may risk becoming deal bait if it doesn't do something about it quickly.
When Boehringer Ingelheim put its U.S.-based generics business on the market, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Mallinckrodt and Perrigo reportedly pulled up seats at the bidding table. But Hikma emerged the winner, snagging Boehringer's Roxane Labs unit for $2.65 billion to substantially boost its noninjectable generics business.
Merck, maker of the pioneering immuno-oncology treatment Keytruda, is investing in the next generation of cancer therapies that harness the body's natural defenses, agreeing to pay as much as $605 million for an Israeli biotech at work in the field.
It's been less than 8 months since the company formerly known as Actavis agreed to swallow Allergan, taking a $66 billion plunge into branded sales and pledging to run its branded and generics businesses as "one culture, one company." But it took just a few weeks to undo those plans, as lucky bidder Teva found out with Monday's $40.5 billion deal for the drugmaker's generic offerings.
In a conversation with Forbes ' Matthew Herper, Allergan CEO Brent Saunders happily spotlighted his bolt-on buyouts with Kythera, Naurex, Furiex and Rhythm. Compare that to recent remarks from Eli Lilly's John Lechleiter, who has always insisted on backing the pipeline he has while adding an occasional pact, or Severin Schwan at Roche. Both see this current market as overpriced.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot has long argued that shedding some of the company's noncore businesses could help jump-start sales, adding cash to its reservoirs as it chases its lofty sales goals. Now, the British drugmaker is taking another step in that direction as it passes off one of its rare cancer drugs to Sanofi, getting $300 million in the process.
Forget everything you thought you knew last week about some of the generics industry's biggest players. Teva is no longer enmeshed in a hostile pursuit of rival Mylan, and Allergan is no longer touting its status as a hybrid brand-and-generics specialist. Instead, they're teaming up with one another.
The big news in biopharma this weekend is the unconfirmed report that Allergan is looking to sell its generics business to Teva. But Allergan execs didn't let the headlines distract them from another goal of CEO Brent Saunders': building the pipeline.
Stryker reiterated that acquisitions are its top priority for cash. But so far during the first half of this year, the orthopedics giant has spent a mere $92 million of its cash on acquisitions--while accruing an additional $1.8 billion in cash to sit on a pile of a whopping $3.6 billion in cash at the end of last quarter.
The way Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov sees it, smart dealmaking could set Shire on track to join its Big Biotech peers and build out its portfolio in rare diseases. But even though a little M&A could go a long way in helping the company achieve its aspirations, Shire isn't going to settle for whatever comes its way.