Migraine-Drug Deal Hype Turns Into a Giant Headache
Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co. Has unexpectedly transformed from one in all biotech’s darlings into a cautionary story of overheated M&A hype.
Shares of the developer of migraine treatments surged in April after Bloomberg News stated that the corporation becomes thinking about a sale; the inventory then took some other leg up in advance this month while Biohaven canceled plans to attend a Goldman Sachs health-care convention, fueling hypothesis a takeover was approaching. All those gains evaporated this week when the agency rather announced that it became selling greater stocks, something that wouldn’t happen if a deal was in sight. As of midday Tuesday, the inventory turned into down 35 percent from its highs:
Biohaven’s ongoing unmarried status shouldn’t have come as so much of a surprise. The corporation has arguably in no way been as compelling an M&A goal as a few traders and analysts seem to assume and face giant risks if it has to move it by myself. Deal hype isn’t a self-pleasing prophecy in biotech; in reality, it could once in a while backfire and result in the complete opposite.
In the case of Biohaven, the organization’s lead drug in improvement is a migraine tablet that takes the identical method as a group of three lately approved injectable medicines that may assist prevent the debilitating headaches. Biohaven’s drug is a fast-appearing opportunity, however, it’s going to should compete for a subset of the market with cheaper everyday options and an immediate rival from Allergan PLC.
The drug’s a hard path forward is one of the motives Biohaven changed into probably open to a buyout; this launch can be even tougher and slower with out the monetary resources and business expertise of a bigger organization. But that identical dynamic is likewise potentially what’s keeping capability suitors away. Biohaven just isn’t the kind of corporation that pharma has been buying.
The candy spot of M&A inside the industry has targeted around cancer pills and uncommon-ailment treatments that command very high expenses, partly with the aid of sidestepping the pricing and compensation issues that dog larger and extra aggressive markets including the only for migraine treatments. Most recent biopharma acquisitions above $1.5 billion had been for businesses running in these regions or for capsules that already generate sales. It’s feasible that a drugmaker may want to determine to do some thing distinctive, but it’d need a compelling purpose, and the hype-driven ascent of BioHaven’s valuation doesn’t help.
This is pretty genuinely a situation where takeover excitement got nicely ahead of truth, which isn’t unusual in biotech. But context matters and any investment thesis that relies upon on massive pharma expensively bucking an M&A trend to get itself into a likely charge war deserves a few greater skepticism.
To touch the writer of this tale: Max Nisen at [email protected]
To touch the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at [email protected]
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Max Nisen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering biotech, pharma, and health care. He formerly wrote approximately management and company approach for Quartz and Business Insider.