Vas Narasimhan, Novartis CEO (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP Images)

No­var­tis want­ed just one drug from Mor­phoSys be­fore up­ping bid for whole com­pa­ny, doc­u­ment re­veals

Be­fore No­var­tis went all in on Mor­phoSys for $2.9 bil­lion in Feb­ru­ary, the Swiss phar­ma gi­ant ini­tial­ly want­ed just one key piece from the Ger­man biotech: a late-stage small mol­e­cule drug for can­cer, ac­cord­ing to new doc­u­ments pub­lished Thurs­day.

A bid for a Phase 3 drug would fall in line with the in­dus­try’s M&A ap­petite of late, as large phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies look to shore up their pipelines with med­i­cines on the cusp of ap­proval to bag near-term rev­enues.

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