Sector News

Valeant weighs sales of controversial heart meds, laggard Provenge: Bloomberg

May 19, 2016
Life sciences

Valeant has been looking for ways to scale down its mountain of debt, and it may have landed on a couple.

The Canadian drugmaker is considering selling off Obagi Medical Products–a skincare buy from 2013–as well as Provenge, the laggard cancer vaccine it snapped up last year from bankrupt biotech Dendreon, according to Bloomberg’s sources. It’s also weighing a divestment of Isuprel and Nitropress, the jacked-up heart meds that last summer landed it in a wave of political and payer pushback that has yet to subside.

Of course, the sales process is still in the early stages–which could mean deals will happen for just some of those drugs, or none at all. But if Valeant can strike transactions for all of them, the divestitures could drum up a sum to the tune of $1 billion, the sources said.

It’s not the first time sales discussions have come up at the embattled drugmaker, which has been grappling with channel-stuffing allegations, underperforming sales and debt-default worries in addition to the pricing pressure. The company first broached the possibility of a sale of its controversial heart drugs last October, when then-CEO J. Michael Pearson admitted that holding onto the unit they belong to–Valeant’s neurology and “other” drugs business–“probably doesn’t make sense.”

And since then, new faces have cropped up at the Quebec-based pharma–and they’re eager to enact changes themselves. In March, shortly after joining Valeant’s board, activist investor Bill Ackman suggested selling part of eyecare business Bausch & Lomb could raise cash to pay down debt; the company could launch an IPO for a minority stake in the range of 10% to 20%, he reasoned.

One thing is certain–if it’s non-core assets Valeant is looking to shed, there are plenty of them to go around. The company made a number of debt-fueled buys after striking out on hostile target Allergan, some of which–such as Provenge, its first cancer med, and brodalumab, its first biologic candidate–raised eyebrows among industry watchers.

By Carly Helfand

Source: Fierce Pharma

comments closed

Related News

May 15, 2022

Novo Nordisk and Flagship Pioneering announce a strategic collaboration to create a portfolio of transformational medicines

Life sciences

The companies will explore opportunities to apply Flagship’s innovative bioplatforms – an ecosystem that currently comprises 41 companies – to scientific challenges in disease areas within cardiometabolic and rare diseases and initiate research programmes based on these.

May 15, 2022

BD, Babson set sights on bringing simple blood collection into the home

Life sciences

BD is expanding its long-running partnership with the blood collection company Babson Diagnostics. The two companies have been working together since 2019 on a device that can gather small volumes of blood from the capillaries in the fingertip without requiring any specialized training, and beginning with a focus on supporting primary care in retail settings.

May 15, 2022

CSL’s $11.7B Vifor buy, 2021’s biggest biopharma M&A deal, hits antitrust delay

Life sciences

Wednesday, Australian biotech CSL said (PDF) the regulatory review of its $11.7 billion acquisition of Switzerland’s Vifor Pharma will take “a few more months,” suggesting it won’t be able to close the transaction by June 2022 as previously expected.