Elan seeks acquisitions after $3.25 bn Biogen Idec deal, rival Bayer eyed on MS treatments
Under a deal announced on Wednesday, Massachusetts-based Biogen will take full ownership of blockbuster multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment Tysabri and will make an upfront payment to the Irish group plus royalties on future sales.
While the deal gives Elan scope to return some cash to shareholders as well as strategic flexibility to buy new assets, it leaves its future shape unclear since Tysabri was by far its most important product, responsible for almost all its revenue.
Elan has already spoken to several companies about potential deals and can move quickly over the next 12-18 months once the sale is completed, Chief Executive Kelly Martin told Reuters.
"You can do a lot of things with $3 billion, you can buy companies, molecules, you can partner, you can share risk. The world is our oyster," Martin said in a telephone interview.
"We are not necessarily restricting ourselves to one therapeutic area or one type of clinical asset. We will not be restricted to our past, which was by and large neurological."
Martin said there were hundreds of small- to medium-sized drug companies with capital or capability needs, meaning there was an "enormous amount of transactions" Elan could do.
Shares in Elan, which fell sharply last year after the failure of a highly anticipated experimental Alzheimer's drug, were 8 percent higher at 8.30 euros by 1220 GMT.
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