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Novartis considers takeover offer for US-based Medicines

Swiss pharma company Novartis is weighing in a bid for New Jersey-based biotechnology firm The Medicines, Bloomberg reported.

Novartis declined to comment. However, two sources told Reuters that the pharmaceutical firm is eyeing a $5 billion purchase in the US. Yet, the sources did not identify a target company.

The Medicines’ shares jumped 19.6% to $70.14 on the report. The increase came after its shares increased 12.8% on news that its drug Inclisiran had achieved promising results.

New Jersey-based The Medicines’ market capitalization is almost $4.7 billion. This year alone, the company’s stock has more than tripled in value.

Since 2012, Novartis has been building up its cardiovascular portfolio. That same year, its Diovan cardiovascular product lost patent protection. This left the Swiss pharma firm without a follow-up drug.

Analysts believe that Novartis’s hunger for a new acquisition is driven by a necessity. The company’s patents for Lucentis, Exjade and Gilenya are nearing expiration.

Earlier in 2019, Novartis CEO Vas Narasimha acquired Takeda Pharmaceutical’s drug Xiidra for $5.3 billion. Under Narasimha, Novartis also bought Endocyte for $2.1 billion and Advanced Accelerator Applications for $3.9 billion.

In January, shares of The Medicines traded at approximately $19 per share. The stock has since skyrocketed to $70 per stock.

Last month, The Medicines reported its third quarter results saying that had $265.9 million in cash and equivalents. This compares to $238.3 million at the end of last year.


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