Again, at a lower price, it would be easier for Roche to take the plunge but not at the current Alexion price tag.
Jim might be right, but only if Roche does something foolish and out of character.
If Roche really wants to get into the orphan drug business, buying Vertex would be a better fit, in my opinion. Vertex is going to dominate the cystic fibrosis treatment market for the foreseeable future, which is as big a commercial opportunity, if not larger, than anything Alexion is working on. Plus, with Vertex, Roche could also bolster its sagging hepatitis C business. A Roche acquisition of Vertex might be just as expensive as buying Alexion, but from a strategic standpoint, the former makes more sense to me.
[I've already called for Vertex to buy <b>Sarepta Therapeutics</b> <span class=" TICKERFLAT">(<a href="/quote/SRPT.html">SRPT</a> - <a href="http://secure2.thestreet.com/cap/prm.do?OID=028198&ticker=SRPT">Get Report</a><a class=" arrow" href="/quote/SRPT.html"><span class=" tickerChange" id="story_SRPT"></span></a>)</span>, so maybe that deal should happen first, before Roche steps in. Yes, I know, I'm just dreaming.]
-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.