Analysts not sure BMS is for sale
A federal judge's decision yesterday to uphold the patent on blood thinner Plavix has revived speculation that the drug's co-marketers could join forces. Analysts, however, cast doubt on the idea that Bristol-Myers Squibb would merge with its larger partner Sanofi-Aventis.
US District Judge Sidney Stein said that BMS and Sanofi are entitled to a permanent injunction barring generic drug firm Apotex, which had brought the challenge, from infringing on its patent. Apotex faces no significant damages for its at-risk launch, since ex-Bristol CEO Peter Dolan negotiated away those rights in a settlement which was designed to keep generic Plavix off the market but fell apart. Thanks to the ruling, though, and the recent sunset of a two-year federal probation period that had weighed on BMS, rumors are once again flying of a takeover.
Meanwhile, a recent setback for Sanofi could push the Franco powerhouse to acquire new products via buyout: last week’s rejection by an FDA advisory panel of its experimental obesity drug Zimulti, once deemed a possible $3 billion-a-year blockbuster.
New CEO James Cornelius may be more comfortable going it
alone. Why? He just signed drug-development deals with Pfizer and AstraZeneca. "The
fact that some of
Besides, wrote Forbes, a sale by
Prevailing wisdom prior to the Plavix ruling held that BMS
and Sanofi had a strong case in the patent trial. And there is a "slight chance"
Apotex could win on appeal. The good news, however, "strengthens the
opportunity for management at
Patent protection on Plavix runs until November 2011. The drug had annual