It’s “Full Speed Ahead” For Merck In HCV After $3.85B Idenix Buyout
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
The company expects to come charging out of the gate with a three-drug combo therapy for hepatitis C now that it has acquired a nucleotide analog to round out its portfolio. Merck is undeterred by the risks associated with the deal.
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Antios thinks ATI-2173, which employs the Pharmasset liver-targeting chemistry used in HCV blockbuster Sovaldi, can help produce a functional cure in hepatitis B combination therapy.
Bristol had paid $2.5 billion to buy Inhibitex and its Phase II nucleoside polymerase inhibitor in hopes of keeping pace with Gilead in the race to develop the first all-oral combination of direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C.
The planned purchase price of $11 billion, or $137 a share, an 89% premium over Pharmasset’s closing price on Nov. 18, is by far the highest ever paid for a clinical-stage biotech.