Sector News

Forget Tesaro—should Gilead go for an Incyte buy?

July 14, 2017
Life sciences

If you were excited about Tesaro selling, you might want to keep an eye on Incyte next.

CNBC says the sale process for Tesaro, which makes PARP med Rubraca, isn’t likely to result in a takeout, despite rumors from last month that deal-hungry Sanofi and Gilead were both interested.

According to the news service’s sources, though, those wannabe buyers didn’t meet Tesaro’s price expectations; reports have pegged a potential buy at $9 or $10 billion, considering Tesaro’s market cap, which stood at about $7.5 billion when the Sanofi and Gilead chatter took off.

Tesaro has precedent for asking its suitors for major bucks. Last summer, Pfizer laid down a whopping $14 billion for PARP rival Medivation after edging out Sanofi in a bidding war. And other cancer targets, especially those with marketed meds, have carried hefty price tags over the past few years, too; just look at Pharmacyclics, for which AbbVie forked over $21 billion.

On that front, Sanofi and Gilead, both in the M&A hunt, don’t have a whole lot of other options, though Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges does have one idea for Gilead. Though he’s stated more than once that he thinks cystic fibrosis company Vertex would be Gilead’s best bet, with oncology seeming “more likely to capture management’s attention,” in a Friday note to clients, he submitted Incyte for buyout consideration.

“Within the intensely competitive oncology space, we believe an acquisition of Incyte would make sense for Gilead in terms of both size of current and long term revenue prospects, as well as for the breadth of INCY’s portfolio, and the optionality of their pipeline and its potential synergies with Gilead’s existing products and development programs,” he wrote.

Acquiring Incyte, which made waves at ASCO with new data on its IDO inhibitor epacadostat, would boost Gilead’s compound annual growth rate to 3% or 4% through 2021, Porges figures, and it would push its EPS compound annual growth rate to between 8% and 9% over that span. Earnings would take a hit through 2018, but “thereafter would be increased by the combination, assuming significant expense synergies from the target and from Gilead’s own research,” he said.

And the Delaware drugmaker already has an oncology product on the market, too. Its anchor product, Jakafi, boasts multiple hematologicial indications and “fits the profile of Gilead’s portfolio and organization, particularly since the demise of their own JAK inhibitor, momelotinib,” Porges said.

Sanofi, meanwhile, has taken its deal interest to the vaccine space, earlier this week inking a $650 million-plus pact to buy Connecticut’s Protein Sciences.

By Carly Helfand

Source: Fierce Pharma

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