This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

HCV Players Moving After Merck Buys Idenix

Stocks in this article: IDIX MRK GILD

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of several companies that have developed hepatitis C, or HCV, treatments are rising after one such company, Idenix (IDIX), agreed to be acquired by Merck (MRK). Meanwhile, shares of Gilead (GILD) are falling after an analyst wrote that Merck could be in a better position to extract royalties from Gilead following the acquisition. 


WHAT'S NEW: Merck and Idenix reported this morning that Idenix would be acquired by Merck for $24.50 per share or $3.85B. The purchase price is more than triple the company's closing price on Friday. Idenix has developed a number of HCV treatments. In an interview with Reuters, Merck's R&D chief, Roger Perlmutter said that Indenix's experimental drug, IDX21437, could cure patients with every genotype of HCV within four to six weeks, the news service reported. Currently viewed by many as the leading HCV treatment, Gilead's Solvaldi must be taken for 12 weeks by most patients, according to Gilead's website.

REACTION: In an article published by The Street today, blogger Adam Feuerstein wrote that Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), which has developed its own HCV drugs, could be the next takeover target in the space. Like Gilead's Sovaldi, Achillion's ACH-3422 is a nucleotide, Feurstein noted. After CNBC reported that Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Abbvie (ABBV) both made unsuccessful bids for Idenix, Feurstein believes that investors are betting that Achillion could be acquired by Johnson & Johnson or Abbvie. Meanwhile, in a note to investors earlier today, Dr. Joshua Schimmer, an analyst at research firm Piper Jaffray, wrote that some investors believe that Merck acquired Idenix partly to strengthen its hand in patent litigation against Gilead. Patents were likely a key factor in Merck's purchase of Idenix, but analysts have always expected Gielad to pay Merck a royalty on Sovaldi sales, the analyst wrote. Moreover, Sovaldi is likely to constitute a much lower percentage of Gilead's HCV sales going forward as the company develops new combination therapies, Schimmer contended. He kept an Overweight rating on the stock.

PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Achillion climbed 36% to $3.92, Gilead dropped 3.8% to $79.26, and Idenix soared 234% to $24.15, and Merck was little changed.

 

Reporting by Larry Ramer.

The Fly provides comprehensive coverage of stock news and Street research and delivers it in real-time. The Fly breaks market-moving news and explains sudden stock movements in a rapid-fire, short-form story format. Follow @theflynews on Twitter. For a free trial, click here.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,959.44 +154.64 0.87%
S&P 500 2,078.54 +7.89 0.38%
NASDAQ 4,781.4240 +16.0440 0.34%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs