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Receptos rejected AZ takeover bid, say sources

Sources also claim the Delaware-based firm is being chased by Gilead Sciences and Teva

Receptos 

US biopharma Receptos is the latest company to be the subject of M&A speculation, with reports that it has palmed off a $200-per-share takeover offer from AstraZeneca (AZ).

The Delaware-based company is also being pursued by Gilead Sciences and Teva, say sources, and is holding out for a $350 offer having rejected bids of around $280 from the other suitors, according to press reports. 

The company's shares have been meandering around the $160 mark in recent days, having stepped up from a base of around $150 in April when a Bloomberg report suggested a number of companies were interested in acquiring the company.

AZ's bid would value loss-making Receptos at around $6.3bn and add drugs for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases to its portfolio at a time when it is striving to build its annual sales to $45bn by 2023.

The UK pharma major has been steadily acquiring new pipeline assets to help achieve that objective, with a particular emphasis on immuno-oncology, although it should be noted that Receptos pipeline lies outside AZ's core areas of cancer, respiratory medicine, diabetes, the revitalised antithrombotic Brilinta (ticagrelor), Japan and low-cost drugs for emerging markets. 

Receptos' main asset is oxanimod (RPC1063), a sphingosine 1-phosphate 1 receptor (S1P1R) modulator in phase III testing for multiple sclerosis and phase II for Crohn's disease.  

Last year, a report by Decision Resources suggested the drug was one of five immuno-modulatory therapies for relapsing forms of the degenerative disease that will drive MS sales to more than $20bn across the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan by 2023. Other analysts go even further, with UBS' Matthew Rodin saying earlier this year peak sales of the drug could reach $4bn.

A second candidate called RPC4046 in eosinophilic esophagitis - partnered with AbbVie in 2013 - is in phase II testing, and the company also has an early-stage R&D programme looking for small-molecule agonists of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which could provide an oral alternative to current injectable therapies for diabetes.

Article by
Phil Taylor

10th June 2015

From: Sales

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