HEALTH

Genzyme again rejects Sanofi buyout offer

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. The board of directors of Genzyme again has rejected a buyout offer by French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis, Genzyme said Thursday.

The biotech company’s board unanimously turned down the hostile offer Sanofi made Monday to acquire Genzyme for $18.5 billion, or $69 per share, saying it was “opportunistic” and undervalued the company.

 

Specifically, Genzyme said Sanofi’s offer failed to recognize its late-stage development pipeline, which includes three drugs it plans to launch by the end of 2013, including alemtuzumab, a therapy for multiple sclerosis that the company said was “potentially transformative” and had potential to capture a significant share of the global MS market after its 2012 launch. The company also has pursued a plan to cut costs and improve manufacturing and other operations, which it said Sanofi’s deal did not take into account.

 

 

Genzyme focuses on therapies to treat such rare, genetic diseases as Fabry disease and Gaucher disease, but shortages of drugs used to treat those diseases –– such as Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) and Cerezyme (imiglucerase) –– arose last year due to product contamination issues at Genzyme’s manufacturing plants.

 

 

If successful, Sanofi’s acquisition of Genzyme would be among the largest in the industry since the wave of high-priced buyouts last year in which Pfizer bought Wyeth, Merck bought Schering-Plough and Roche bought the remaining stock of Genentech that it didn’t already own. In all three cases, the main objective was to gain access to the acquired companies’ significant portfolios and pipelines of specialty drugs, particularly biologics.

 

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CNBC star, national radio host headlines exclusive retailer-supplier summit

BY Drug Store News Team

NEW YORK The markets are turbulent. Banks and financial institutions are struggling. Consumers’ purse strings are tighter than ever, and that has retailers and suppliers worried. Larry Kudlow believes we have been through the worst of it, and America has the tools in place to fix it all — now.

Kudlow, host of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report” and a nationally syndicated columnist and radio host, will deliver the keynote presentation, “Never Sell America Short: Free-Market Capitalism and the American Economy,” at an exclusive retailer-supplier roundtable event hosted by The Drug Store News Group.

The highly outspoken and unapologetic Kudlow — who also hosts the national “The Larry Kudlow Show” on ABC radio and whose column regularly appears in The National Review — will dissect the political and economic climate to help attendees understand, among other things, how the markets and industry need to work together.

Kudlow’s remarks set the table for the 12th Annual Drug Store News Industry Issues Summit/Diabetes Roundtable event, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the historic New York Athletic Club. The annual, one-day must-attend conference brings together a highly diverse group of retailers and key supplier executives in a series of top-to-top panel discussions moderated by Drug Store News.

The event — which is timed to coincide with the annual “NACDS Week,” including the NACDS Foundation Dinner later that evening — is premised upon better aligning retailer and supplier objectives, with the end goal of growing the business unilaterally. For retailers, DSN Issues Summit is an ideal opportunity to reconnect with important business partners; for suppliers, it is a chance to network with leading retail executives.

Confirmed panelists include top executives from such retailers as H-E-B, Costco, Fred Meyer, Rite Aid, Wegmans, Ulta Beauty, Walgreens, Sam’s Club, McKesson’s HealthMart, ACE Hardware, exciting new healthcare retailer Max-Wellness, Giant Eagle, Kerr Drug and many more.

Current sponsor companies include Pacific World, Kao Brands, Novartis Consumer Health, Takeda, Pharmavite, TABS, Catalina Marketing, Alberto-Culver and Nipro Diagnostics.

Sponsorship opportunities still are available. For further details, contact Wayne Bennett, publisher, at wbennett@lf.com or (212) 756-5157, or log on to DSNindustryissues.com/12th_annual.html.

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Professional Therapy MuscleCare gets ECRM best new product award

BY Michael Johnsen

LAS VEGAS Professional Therapy MuscleCare last month was awarded “best new product” at the ECRM Health Management EPPS held here. The award, sponsored by Drug Store News, is presented to the manufacturer that collects the most “best new product” votes from retailers attending the event.

As part of its initial rollout, MuscleCare has penned a sponsorship deal with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic, a group of sports chiropractors from 30 countries that treat Olympic and nationally ranked athletes.

The company fields two topical pain-relief products — topical Professional Therapy MuscleCare extra-strength roll-on gel and Professional Therapy MuscleCare ointment — and presently has distribution through Duane Reade and CVS.com. The products contain camphor and menthol to relax tissue and increase the flow of healthy blood, and nutrients in order to reset the muscle to its normal resting length and promote healing.

 

"The topical pain-relief industry has long been lacking in safety and efficacy, and I have gone to great lengths and conducted a thorough clinical study to change that," stated Chris Oswald, CEO of Professional Therapy MuscleCare, when debuting the product earlier this year.

 

 

The retail price is $19.99 for the roll-on gel and $25.99 for the ointment.

 

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