Cue the M&A chatter: UniQure is scouting for a buyout deal as gene therapy field sizzles — report
All the enthusiasm that’s been whipped up in the gene therapy field this past year has helped stoke the rumor mill about all sorts of possibilities for uniQure $QURE, which has seen a quick run-up on its share price. And now the biotech’s backers are getting a big boost from Bloomberg to keep the run going.
There’s no deal to report, but sources are telling the business news service that uniQure has brought in advisers to see what might be done — including a sale — with the pharma giants now prowling the clinical players for partners and acquisitions.
Cue more excited chatter on Twitter about the possibilities.
The story comes in the wake of Novartis’ $8.7 billion acquisition of AveXis, which delivered the newly approved gene therapy Zolgensma, now the highest priced therapy on the planet (for a one-time use). Bluebird may have raised more questions than they answered with its newly announced $1.8 million sticker on their first gene therapy approval, but they’ve kept things interesting. And Roche may be struggling, but it’s intent on closing its $4.3 billion Spark buyout to add gene therapy to the portfolio.
UniQure started the year with a share price of $28.53. Now, close to 6 months later, it will open in the morning at $72.55, with a $2.74 billion market cap that would make it an easy bolt-on for any big player looking to either get into the game or expand the team.
That said, these source-driven moves to “explore options” quite often end nowhere. UniQure has been around for 21 years and is widely followed these days for its late-stage hemophilia B gene therapy program. They don’t need to plant a ‘for sale’ sign in the yard to make it known they’re available.
Just how hot is gene therapy in the deal world these days? We’ll take an in-depth look at the numbers for you early Monday.