SkyePharma, a London-based drug maker and developer of systems for easier delivery of pharmaceuticals into the body, has attracted interest from such pharma giants as AstraZeneca, Novartis and Merck, among others, as it looks for potential buyers, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Other companies eyeing a potential SkyePharma purchase include rivals in the drug delivery business, including Biovalve Technologies of Westborough, Mass., and Endo Pharmaceuticals of Chadds Ford, Pa., the Journal reported SkyePharma has an estimated market value of about $525 million.
Suitors are attracted to the respiratory drugs SkyePharma is developing, particularly Fluitform, an asthma medication that is about to enter its final phase of testing. The company also develops technology to improve the characteristics of various drugs, making them easier to swallow, inject or inhale. It sells this service to big pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline.
SkyePharma said in November that it was looking for offers for a possible takeover after Innovata made an unsolicited bid to buy the company. SkyePharma's chairman Ian Gowrie-Smith is reported to be leading an effort to find possible alternative buyers and is considering all options. The company is expected to name a short list of bidders in coming days.