Oct. 8, 2013, 3:12 PM
- Sarissa Capital formally announces its intention not to tender any of its shares for the $8.50 per share takeover offer of Astex Pharmaceuticals (ASTX -0.4%) by Otsuka Holdings (OTSKF.OB). The activist investors also urge fellow Astex shareholders not to tender their holdings for that price either.
- Sarissa calls out Astex management for failing to respond to any of its concerns and instead trying to scare shareholders into voting for the deal by suggesting Otsuka could just up and walk away. "Given the built-in mandatory offer extensions in the Astex-Otsuka transaction agreement that we outlined in our October 2 letter, we don't believe any such 'substantial additional risk' exists. But most importantly, we do not believe that $8.50 is an adequate price."
Oct. 3, 2013, 7:32 AM
- Activist shareholder Sarissa Capital opposes Otsuka Holdings' (OTSKF.OB) $886M bid for Astex Pharmaceuticals (ASTX), saying the $8.50-a-share offer is too low, although the U.S. biotech firm disagrees.
- Sarissa, founded by former Carl Icahn associate Alex Denner, has also raised questions about the timing of the auction for Astex. The process came ahead of the release of key data for cancer drug SGI110, which is expected in December.
- Sarissa is contacting potential bidders that the firm believes were left out the bidding process. Astex counters that it reached out to 33 companies but only Japan-based Otsuka made a final bid.
- Astex letter to shareholders.
Sep. 5, 2013, 5:19 AM
- As tipped Wednesday, Japanese drugmaker Otsuka Holdings (OTSKF.OB) is set to buy Astex Pharmaceuticals (ASTX) for around $886M in the largest deal for the Tokyo-based company since it snapped up a 49% stake in a French mineral water bottler five years ago.
- Otsuka expects to launch a tender offer at $8.50/ share "within 10 business days."
- The deal increases the profile of Otsuka's oncology business and strengthens its pipeline as it prepares for patent expiration on Abilify.
- See also: ASTX reports topline results for SGI-110 in AML patients, Feuerstein skeptical
Sep. 4, 2013, 1:48 PMAstex Pharmaceuticals (ASTX +30%) soars on reports that it will be acquired by Otsuka Pharma in Japan for ¥90B. | Comment!
Aug. 30, 2013, 11:39 AM
- Astex Pharmaceuticals (ASTX -4.1%) is notably weak today after running up ~25% on Wednesday following topline data from a Phase 2 trial of SGI-110.
- Not helping the stock's cause is an article from theStreet's Adam Feuerstein who takes issue with RBC analyst Michael Yee's bullish thesis.
- "Concluding that SGI-110 is better than Dacogen [another ASTX product which is licensed to Eisai (ESALF.PK)] based on an interim look at just 17 patients is silly," Feuerstein says, adding that the observed 53% response rate in the cohort of elderly patients with treatment-naive AML "will not hold up once the cohort ... reaches full enrollment."
- Ultimately, Feuerstein thinks it's "premature to say much of anything about SGI-110's activity in AML relative to Dacogen based on the paltry and incomplete data released ... on Wednesday."
- For the record, the company says it released interim results because "the data was material and ASH just cleared [the company] for top-line data release without violating the embargo."
Aug. 28, 2013, 12:45 PM| Comment!
Aug. 28, 2013, 12:27 PM| Comment!
Aug. 28, 2013, 9:11 AM
Aug. 28, 2013, 9:05 AM
- RBC's Michael Yee reiterates an Outperform rating on Astex Pharmaceuticals (ASTX) following topline data from an ongoing trial of SGI-110.
- Yee thinks the shares have significant room to run even after the 18% gain the stock has posted premarket — price target is $9.
- RBC likes SGI-110 compared to Eisai's (ESALF.PK) Dacogen (indicated for Myelodysplastic syndrome).
Aug. 28, 2013, 7:37 AM
- Astex Pharmaceuticals' (ASTX) SGI-110 "showed clear activity in patients with acute myeloid leukemia" in Phase II testing.
- The overall remission rate in 67 subjects was 25%.
- However, no results were provided for patients with Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a group of blood and bone marrow disorders, who were also part of the trial.
- Shares +12.2%.
Aug. 9, 2013, 5:31 PM
Aug. 1, 2013, 8:54 AM| Comment!
Jul. 22, 2013, 11:02 AMAstex Pharmaceuticals (ASTX -2.6%) slips despite presenting data which suggests the HSP90 inhibitor AT13387 delayed the emergence of resistance in mice in a preclinical model of mutant BRAF melanoma. The mice were treated with vemurafenib alone and in combination with AT13387. Mice which received the combination treatment did not exhibit tumor regrowth. (PR) | Comment!
Jul. 8, 2013, 10:52 AM
Jun. 20, 2013, 1:20 PMAstex Pharmaceuticals (ASTX -4.8%) says updated clinical data from a phase 1/2 trial of subcutaneous SGI-110 in patients with relapsed/refractory acute myelogenous leukemia has been chosen for oral presentation on September 28 at the European Cancer Congress. (Previous: ASTX says SGI-110 produces overall response rate of 40%) | Comment!
Jun. 14, 2013, 8:40 AM
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