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Celgene buys Delinia; J&J clears $30B Actelion bid; Endo launches restructuring

* Johnson & Johnson is set to acquire Actelion Ltd. for $30 billion, or $280 per share. The U.S.-based pharmaceutical giant will launch an all-cash tender offer in Switzerland to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Actelion, with J&J funding the transaction with cash held outside the U.S. Before the acquisition closes, expected by the end of the second quarter, the Swiss biotech company will spin out its drug discovery operations and early-stage clinical development assets into a new biopharmaceutical company.

* Celgene Corp. agreed to acquire Delinia Inc. for an initial payment of $300 million, plus up to $475 million in contingent payments. The deal will expand Celgene's inflammation and immunology pipeline through the acquisition of Delinia's lead program, DEL106, a novel IL-2 mutein Fc fusion protein that helps regulate the immune system and that could be important for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

* Endo International PLC initiated a restructuring program as part of its comprehensive organizational review. It aims to align its corporate functions and branded pharmaceutical research and development functions in size and scope with the company's recently restructured generics and U.S. branded pharmaceutical business units. The restructuring will reduce its workforce by about 90 positions.

* Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. reported non-GAAP net earnings attributable to shareholders of $1.1 billion, or 63 cents per share, in the 2016 fourth quarter, compared to $647 million, or 38 cents per share, for the same period in 2015.

* Biogen Inc. reported fourth-quarter 2016 net income attributable to the company of $649.2 million, or $2.99 per share, down from $831.6 million, or $3.77 per share, a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Biogen Japan Ltd. is looking to focus on neurology specialty pharmaceuticals for Alzheimer's disease and other neurological diseases with the planned spinoff of its hemophilia business and the upcoming launch of Tecfidera, Pharma Japan reported.

* Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. reported fourth-quarter 2016 GAAP net income of $32.9 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $73.7 million, or 30 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2015.

* The sale of Novartis AG's biosimilar copy of Amgen Inc.'s Enbrel will be delayed to 2018 due to a patent protection challenge in a U.S. federal court. The U.S. FDA has already approved the biosimilar copy of Enbrel, called Erelzi, for rheumatoid arthritis, plaque psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis and other diseases, but Amgen claims the drug has patent protection until 2029.

* The World Health Organization yesterday named the nominees for the WHO director-general post: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia, David Nabarro of the U.K. and Sania Nishtar of Pakistan. The new director-general will take office July 1 and will succeed Margaret Chan, whose second term of office ends June 30.

* AnaptysBio Inc., a biotechnology company developing antibody product candidates focused on unmet medical needs in inflammation, priced its IPO of 5,000,000 common shares at $15 apiece. The shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on Jan. 26 under the symbol ANAB, with the offering expected to close Jan. 31.

Drug and product pipeline

* Eisai Co. Ltd.'s Lenvima met its primary endpoint in a phase 3 trial as a first-line treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, a common form of liver cancer. The company plans to discuss Lenvima's submission with regulatory authorities in Japan, U.S., Europe and Asia, including China.

* The U.S. FDA cleared Relmada Therapeutics Inc.'s investigational new drug application for d-Methadone, the company's novel, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist. D-Methadone is a rapid acting, oral agent for the treatment of depression and neuropathic pain, among other things.

* AbbVie Inc. initiated two phase 2 clinical trials to evaluate ABBV-8E12, an investigational anti-tau antibody, in patients with early Alzheimer's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy. The FDA and the European Medicines Agency granted orphan drug designations to ABBV-8E12 for progressive supranuclear palsy, while the FDA granted fast track designation to ABBV-8E12.

* BeiGene Ltd. launched a phase 3 trial of its investigational Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor BGB-3111 in patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

* Cancer Genetics Inc. is entering the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer diagnostics market with the launch of a focused genomic panel to detect such cancers in the human body. The panel, termed Focus::HERSite, will initially focus on analyzing the 16 most common genes associated with the cancers.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 1.41% to 23,374.17, and the Nikkei 225 was up 1.81% to 19,402.39.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.16% to 7,175.64, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.01% to 939.62.

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