Breakingviews

Valeant’s $11 bln bid may have scored two knockouts

March 16, 2015

By sweetening its offer for Salix, the acquisitive drugmaker now backed by hedgie Bill Ackman put rival suitor Endo on the mat. The extra cash and a balance sheet reeling from the Allergan deal leave the business model looking wobbly. Valeant may have just rung its own bell too.

AbbVie CEO may have overpaid again in $21 bln deal

March 5, 2015

Richard Gonzalez, the pharma firm’s boss, shelled out $1.6 bln last year to get out of a hard-won bid for Shire. Now he has come out on top in an intensely competitive biotech auction. AbbVie may get a blockbuster drug, but at a high cost: It must share profits with rival J&J.

LabCorp deal tests positive for value destruction

November 3, 2014

The firm that checks patients’ blood is paying $6.1 bln for clinical trial outsourcer Covance. The strategic logic is hazy. Shareholders’ financial diagnosis is damning, too. They swabbed some $700 mln off LabCorp as cost cuts fell far short of the 32 pct premium paid.

Amgen boss makes a prime breakup target

October 22, 2014

Former Morgan Stanley banker Robert Bradway runs the $109 bln biotech being eyed by activist Dan Loeb. Splitting into a cash cow and a growth arm comes up often in the industry but rarely happens. In Amgen’s case, its drug focus and the CEO’s background give the idea a chance.

Roche’s $8 bln bet outsmarts ice-bucket challenge

August 25, 2014

Dumping cold water on heads, the social-media phenomenon now boosting ALS research, is a great way to raise charitable cash. But the drug made by Roche’s target, InterMune, treats a disease with more sufferers. The market may be the more efficient way to direct funds.

U.S. justices square the helix on gene patents

June 13, 2013

The Supreme Court ruled that companies can hold exclusive rights to synthetic human genes, but not naturally occurring ones. That allows biotech businesses to reap rewards for their work without stifling the research of others. The decision serves science, industry and the law.