Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) may want Onyx to adorn its crown

Posted by Lynn Eisler July 2, 2013 0 Comment 2319 views


Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) has shown interest in buying-out Onyx a biotech company whose cancer drugs have a very promising revenue stream. Apart from Pfizer, Novartis has also shown an interest in the company. Onyx has a market value of approximately $9.5B and put itself up for a buy-out on Sunday. It cited certain “expressions of interest” from some unnamed companies. The company also stated that it had very recently rejected an $8.7B offer from Amgen Inc as it seemed too low.

Pfizer is due to pay the company royalties on a very promising experimental breast-cancer drug and is interested in Onyx as well as its portfolio of various marketed cancer treatments said some unnamed sources.

Amgen’s June offer of $120/share was the first and Onyx had not indicated whether it was the best and the final. Amgen is also expected to be a participant in this auction process. On Monday, Onyx skyrocketed 51.3% and closed at $131.33 which was well above the offer that had been put forth by Amgen’s. This indicated that investors have taken note that biggies such as Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) are taking interest and were expecting the bids to touch more than that.

The attraction quotient

The general market-watcher opinion is that Onyx may appeal to a broad group of big biotech and pharma companies such as AstraZeneca Plc, Bayer AG and Merck & Co. Larger players in the industry have been seeking to acquire smaller biotechnology firms in order to gain access to various new drugs. These are generally high-priced cancer treatments. Many companies have been facing distinct revenue losses that have arisen from expired patents of many of their drugs.

The oncology landscape

A boom in innovative science, sustained Research & Development investment as well as clinical successes of a completely new wave of targeted-therapies have literally transformed the current day oncology landscape. Cancer control treatments now seem more within reach and a possibility that lies just around the bend in the road. However, there is no change in the fact that launching a product in the market and making it successful and profitable are a major challenge. There was a time when clinical proof was considered more than enough for a product to succeed in oncology. But all that has changed and studies have to be complemented with a compelling demonstration of “value” in treatment.


About Lynn Eisler

Lynn Eisler is a national news reporter focusing on economic issues, data analysis and the financial health of state and local governments. Lynn has been honored with the H.L. Mencken Award for Investigative Reporting, the Champion of Justice Award for reporting on the drug war, and the John Hancock Award for business reporting. Lynn was also a Knight Medical School Fellow at the University of Michigan.

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