Genmab Chief Executive Jan van de Winkel doesn’t understate his affection for J&J. When the two companies tied the knot over Darzalex, the CEO described the pharma giant as “the perfect partner.”
And the affection has been reciprocated. J&J’s Paul Stoffels told Reuters’ Ben Hirshcler just now that “we love the partnership” with Genmab. Their deal included a $20 million check yesterday for their success in developing Darzalex (daratumumab) for amyloidosis — their first Phase III outside of multiple myeloma. And they’ve been making major headway in expanding the franchise for multiple myeloma, with blockbuster plans to expand their pipeline collaboration as J&J hands over royalties ranging up to 20%.
Some analysts have been doing the math and say it all adds up to a likely takeover bid — or should. Reuters cites Bernstein analyst Wimal Kapadia as one of the match makers in the analyst-ranks that pictures a natural walk down the M&A aisle for the two companies, with the pharma conglomerate absorbing the drug, the pipeline and the scientists who made it all happen.
Neither Stoffels or Van de Winkel, meanwhile, are talking up a buyout at this stage — content to stay focused on their work as partners. Both are public companies and the execs are skilled at not crossing any disclosure lines.
Still, as long as the news from Genmab/J&J remains upbeat on the front, you can expect plenty more speculation on a takeover bid. With deals running slow, the market will make up for the lack of fire with lots of new smoke.
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