Acquisition rumours fly as GlaxoSmithKline, Astellas Cubist and AstraZeneca said to be interested in Optimer Pharmaceuticals takeover.
Optimer Pharmaceuticals, the antibiotics maker that’s weighing a sale, drew interest from drugmakers including GlaxoSmithKline and Astellas Pharma, said two people familiar with the matter.
Shares gained the most in more than four years.
The maker of the antibiotic Dificid aims to fetch as much as $1 billion in a possible auction, said the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private.
Optimer also attracted interest from Cubist Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca, said one of the people.
Buying Optimer would enable the drugmakers to generate more revenue from hospitals, as Dificid, the company’s sole product on the market, treats a bacterium linked to intestinal infections in hospitalized patients. The drugmaker, based in Jersey City, New Jersey, also may prove attractive to peers that already distribute to medical facilities and could use existing distribution channels to reduce costs.
While Cubist is ending a sales agreement with Optimer and developing a competing drug, it may still need the antibiotic in its portfolio, said Marko Kozul, an analyst with Boston-based Leerink Swann & Co. “By the time the Cubist drug would even make it to market, were it to make it to market, Dificid would have multiple supplemental indications,” Kozul said in a telephone interview.
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