Complicated takeover? Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Actelion (OTCPK:ALIOY) have asked Switzerland's takeover board about a deal structure that would separate the latter's commercialized portfolio from its R&D assets, Tages-Anzeiger reports.
That would allow J&J to acquire Actelion with a cash offer in the region of $260 per share, a little more than what it had offered when it walked away from negotiations in December.
JNJ had edged out Sanofi from the bidding after entering exclusive talks with the Swiss biotech. Now the negotiations involve separating Actelion's commercialized portfolio from research and development.
That would provide for an acquisition in the range of $260/share (slightly more than a previously rejected $250/share) and yet allow Actelion holders to benefit from the R&D pipeline, which would be put into a new publicly traded company.
Actelion (OTCPK:ALIOY) is considering a complicated deal to combine with part of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), a move that will leave the Swiss company independent from the U.S. drugs giant, FT reports.
The structured transaction would create a new, larger biotech firm uniting Actelion with relevant parts of J&J's pharma business, with the latter becoming a major shareholder in the new business.
ZS Pharma shares were up this morning, surged again after 2:20 p.m. today and were halted for news after the close.
Earlier, the company canceled its presentation and one-on-ones at a Citi investor conference, stoking memories of Kythera's similar cancellation prior to an acquisition several months ago.
More than 6.7M shares traded hands today against a daily average of about 439K.
Updated with ZS Pharma's 5:31 p.m. statement: "ZS Pharma today confirmed that it has participated in preliminary discussions with Actelion Ltd. regarding a potential strategic transaction. ZS Pharma regularly and routinely explores opportunities with various strategic partners and will continue to do so. These discussions may or may not lead to any transaction."
The attraction is Tetraphase's antibiotic eravacycline, currently in Phase 3 development. Both oral and IV formulations of the drug have demonstrated higher dose response rates than Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) Levaquin (levofloxacin) for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections. In the Ignite-2 study, patients receiving 200 mg eravacycline IV-to-oral doses achieved a response rate of 70.8% while patients receiving 250 mg IV-to-oral doses achieved 64.3%, both significantly ahead of Levaquin's 52.2% response rate.
A trial comparing eravacycline to Merck's (NYSE:MRK) Invanz (ertapenem) for the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections is underway.
Shares of InterMune (ITMN +14.3%) spike on a 2x surge in volume in response to rumors that Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY +0.4%), Sanofi (SNY +0.7%), Glaxo (GSK -0.1%) and Actelion (OTCPK:ALIOF) (OTC:ACIOY) are preparing offers. Trading in ITMN shares was halted briefly at 1:00 pm EDT due to abnormal volatility.
Intermune (ITMN) is the latest pharmaceutical company to be linked with merger news, with the Betaville blog reporting that the firm is the subject of takeover interest from Actelion (ALIOF) and Sanofi (SNY).
Actelion has apparently lined up $3-4B in financing from several banks, including JPMorgan.
Intermune shares are +1.8% premarket; its market cap is $3.02B as of yesterday's close.