Schering-Plough CEO calls takeover prices 'breath-taking'
The prices being paid in the recent rash of pharmaceutical acquisition deals are “breath-taking,” Schering-Plough CEO Fred Hassan said in an interview with Marketwatch.com.
“They would have been unthinkable five years ago,” Hassan said.
According to Hassan, the takeover craze has been fueled by a recent rash of patent expirations–Merck’s Zocor, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Pravachol and Pfizer’s Zoloft.
“The industry’s R&D engines are struggling to keep up with the expirations,” Hassan said.
Hassan said his company doesn’t feel as strong a need to make a major merger or acquisition deal, “as our existing products (patents) go into the next decade.”
Hassan also thinks his company can grow with its existing pipeline.
Products in development include:
*A Phase II blood thinner that could rival or be used in combination with Plavix
*The Phase II HIV treatment vicriviroc
*A protease inhibitor to treat hepatitis C, currently in Phase II testing
* Golimumab, a potential successor to the rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade, in Phase II testing
When asked about rumors suggesting Schering-Plough is eyeing a possible merger with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Hassan declined to comment.
“But it’s nice that we’re doing so well that people are talking about us that way,” he said.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any form without prior authorization.