BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN) may be up for acquisition because after three years its most promising rare-disease drug came one step closer to U.S. regulatory approval this week.
An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration said this week that BioMarin’s Vimizim drug should be approved to treat the rare metabolic disease Morquio A syndrome. A favorable FDA ruling by the end of February would remove some risk for acquirers and may encourage them to pay a premium for the $9.8 billion company, Robert W. Baird & Co. said.
Vimizim, which would be BioMarin’s fifth orphan drug to hit the market, is projected by analysts to be the company’s best-selling therapy by 2017. Large drugmakers such as Pfizer (PFE) Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline Plc may covet BioMarin’s treatments that target concentrated markets and sell for higher prices, said Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. BioMarin could fetch at least $93 a share, said William Blair & Co. At about $13 billion, it would be the largest deal for a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company since 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“It’s a good acquisition candidate given big pharma’s interest in the orphan drug development space and given BioMarin’s deep pipeline,” Kimberly Lee, a San Francisco-based managing director and analyst at financial services firm Janney, said in a phone interview. Approval of Vimizim would “increase their attractiveness.”
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