By: Adam Feuerstein | 06/09/14 - 09:22 AM EDT
With Merck (MRK) gobbling up Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX) for $3.9 billion Monday, the hepatitis C takeout speculation shifts to Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN).
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Abbvie (ABBV) were both reportedly interesting in buying Idenix but lost out to Merck, reports CNBC. Achillion shares are up almost 30% to $3.74 Monday as investors bet the losers in the Idenix sweepstakes may move on to the next target.
Using the Idenix premium, an acquisition of Achillion would be considerably cheaper -- less than $1 billion at Friday's closing stock price.
Like Idenix, Achillion has a pipeline of hepatitis C drugs. The most valuable, perhaps, is ACH-3422, a nucleotide NS5B polyermase inhibitor. The conventional thinking is that so-called "nucs" are the linchpin of hepatitis C combination therapy. Gilead Sciences' (GILD) Sovaldi is a nuc and will likely generate $9-10 billion in sales this year. Idenix is developing a nuc, which is probably why Merck acquired the company.
Achillion's nuc is unpartnered, but for how long?
08/26/14 - 07:00 AM EDT
08/25/14 - 08:48 AM EDT
08/21/14 - 10:23 AM EDT
08/14/14 - 10:20 AM EDT
08/13/14 - 12:04 PM EDT
08/27/14 - 11:32 AM EDT
08/26/14 - 14:30 PM EDT
08/26/14 - 11:34 AM EDT
08/25/14 - 11:41 AM EDT
08/25/14 - 11:09 AM EDT
David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.