Wednesday, December 12, 2007

So What's Next for Biogen?

The word is out, and Biogen Idec's review of its strategic alternatives has apparently turned up zero alternatives that are better than the status quo. And so, Biogen Idec soldiers on, alone.

The lack of a buyer here probably says more about the handful of Big Pharma players said to be interested in the company than it says about Biogen. The Big Biotech, even before the Icahn-induced scramble, was enjoying a relatively purple patch. Big Pharma, on the other hand, has had better days.

Several companies' short- or mid-term woes could have been alleviated with the addition of Biogen's revenues and biologics capabilities. But in the end, as we and others have pointed out: the price was too high. And Big Pharma turned out not to be as desperate as some people thought, or at least they chose not to exhibit that desperation at this time. Even Pfizer, in the wake of the Exubera debacle (a black eye, for sure) and looming loss of Lipitor revenues, decided to pass.

Does this signal the end of the biopharma M&A (and M&A rumor) parade? Probably not. But perhaps Biogen Idec can take a turn on the other side of the table now.

[UPDATE: BIIB shares took quite a knock, giving up about $6.5 billion in market cap/acquisition premium]

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