TRC Cap­i­tal's mi­ni-ten­der of­fer ir­ri­tates a flus­tered Bio­gen

TRC Cap­i­tal’s trade­mark mi­ni-ten­der of­fer strat­e­gy has peev­ed an ane­mic Bio­gen, which is still lick­ing its wounds fol­low­ing the cat­a­stroph­ic fail­ure of its Alzheimer’s drug ad­u­canum­ab.

On Mon­day, Bio­gen said it had learned that TRC has sought to pur­chase up to 500,000 shares of Bio­gen’s stock at a price of $216.25 per share in cash, which is a dis­count of 4.41% to the clos­ing price of the drug­mak­er’s shares on May 10 — the last busi­ness day pri­or to the com­mence­ment of the of­fer.

“Bio­gen does not en­dorse TRC Cap­i­tal’s un­so­licit­ed mi­ni-ten­der of­fer and rec­om­mends that stock­hold­ers do not ten­der their shares in re­sponse to TRC Cap­i­tal’s of­fer…,” the com­pa­ny said in a state­ment, urg­ing its share­hold­ers to ex­er­cise cau­tion.

In­vestors tend to flock to ten­der of­fers be­cause they pro­vide the rare prospect of sell­ing se­cu­ri­ties at a pre­mi­um above mar­ket price. How­ev­er,  mi­ni-ten­der of­fers – for less than 5% of a com­pa­ny’s stock — can catch the un­sea­soned in­vestor by sur­prise, as they may as­sume that the price of­fered in­cludes the pre­mi­um usu­al­ly present in larg­er ten­der of­fers. Even­tu­al­ly, they learn that they can­not with­draw from the of­fer and may end up sell­ing their shares at be­low-mar­ket prices.

An­oth­er per­ti­nent dif­fer­ence is that mi­ni-ten­der of­fers typ­i­cal­ly do not pro­vide the same dis­clo­sure and pro­ce­dur­al pro­tec­tions as tra­di­tion­al ten­der of­fers.

“With most mi­ni-ten­der of­fers, in­vestors typ­i­cal­ly feel pres­sured to ten­der their shares quick­ly with­out hav­ing sol­id in­for­ma­tion about the of­fer or the peo­ple be­hind it. And they’ve been shocked to learn that they gen­er­al­ly can­not with­draw from mi­ni-ten­der of­fers,” the SEC has warned.

For TRC, their trade­mark strat­e­gy is win­ning, as it al­lows them to ag­gres­sive­ly pur­sue a ‘buy low, sell high’ scheme. They launch the mi­ni-ten­der of­fer and then have the op­por­tu­ni­ty of sell­ing any shares ten­dered to pock­et the dif­fer­ence.

Just this year, they have var­i­ous mi­ni-ten­der of­fers across the in­dus­try, trig­ger­ing the ire of com­pa­nies such as Pep­si­Co, Visa, Northrop Grum­man and DXC Tech­nol­o­gy. TRC has al­so made a num­ber of such of­fers in the past with­in the field of bio­phar­ma, to com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Pfiz­erAlex­ion and Io­n­is.

TRC’s Bio­gen of­fer — sched­uled to ex­pire on June 12 — con­sti­tutes 0.26% of Bio­gen shares out­stand­ing, as of the May 13.

But the Cam­bridge, Mass­a­chu­setts-based drug­mak­er $BI­IB has big­ger prob­lems on its plate. The bell­wether biotech — ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion for its flag­ship SMA treat­ment Spin­raza — has beefed up its board in re­cent months to pla­cate its in­creas­ing­ly dis­en­chant­ed share­hold­er base that has seen the com­pa­ny cul­ti­vate its late-stage pipeline around the all-but-dead amy­loid be­ta ap­proach. Its crit­ics are less wor­ried about the board, and more in­ter­est­ed in M&A, giv­en the com­pa­ny’s parched pipeline and the po­ten­tial for stag­nant long-term growth.


Im­age Source: Shut­ter­stock

Nick Leschly via Getty

UP­DAT­ED: Blue­bird shares sink as an­a­lysts puz­zle out $1.8M stick­er shock and an un­ex­pect­ed de­lay

Blue­bird bio $BLUE has un­veiled its price for the new­ly ap­proved gene ther­a­py Zyn­te­glo (Lenti­Glo­bin), which came as a big sur­prise. And it wasn’t the on­ly un­ex­pect­ed twist in to­day’s sto­ry.

With some an­a­lysts bet­ting on a $900,000 price for the β-tha­lassemia treat­ment in Eu­rope, where reg­u­la­tors pro­vid­ed a con­di­tion­al ear­ly OK, blue­bird CEO Nick Leschly said Fri­day morn­ing that the pa­tients who are suc­cess­ful­ly treat­ed with their drug over 5 years will be charged twice that — $1.8 mil­lion — on the con­ti­nent. That makes this drug the sec­ond most ex­pen­sive ther­a­py on the plan­et, just be­hind No­var­tis’ new­ly ap­proved Zol­gens­ma at $2.1 mil­lion, with an­a­lysts still wait­ing to see what kind of pre­mi­um can be had in the US.

Gene ther­a­pies seize the top of the list of the most ex­pen­sive drugs on the plan­et — and that trend has just be­gun

Anyone looking for a few simple reasons why the gene therapy field has caught fire with the pharma giants need only look at the new list of the 10 most expensive therapies from GoodRx.

Two recently approved gene therapies sit atop this list, with Novartis’ Zolgensma crowned the king of the priciest drugs at $2.1 million. Right below is Luxturna, the $850,000 pioneer from Spark, which Roche is pushing hard to acquire as it adds a gene therapy group to the global mix.

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Ted Love. HAVERFORD COLLEGE

Glob­al Blood Ther­a­peu­tics poised to sub­mit ap­pli­ca­tion for ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval, with new piv­otal da­ta on its sick­le cell dis­ease drug

Global Blood Therapeutics is set to submit an application for accelerated approval in the second-half of this year, after unveiling fresh data from a late-stage trial that showed just over half the patients given the highest dose of its experimental sickle cell disease drug experienced a statistically significant improvement in oxygen-wielding hemoglobin, meeting the study's main goal.

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J&J gains an en­thu­si­as­tic en­dorse­ment from Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump for their big new drug Spra­va­to

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has lit­tle love for Big Phar­ma, but there’s at least one new drug that just hit the mar­ket which he is en­am­ored with.

Trump, ev­i­dent­ly, has been read­ing up on J&J’s new an­ti-de­pres­sion drug, Spra­va­to. And the pres­i­dent — who of­ten likes to break out in­to a full-throat­ed at­tack on greedy drug­mak­ers — ap­par­ent­ly en­thused about the ther­a­py in a meet­ing with of­fi­cials of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, which has long grap­pled with de­pres­sion among vet­er­ans.

In a boost to Rit­ux­an fran­chise, Roche nabs quick ap­proval for po­latuzum­ab ve­dotin

Roche’s lat­est an­ti­body-drug con­ju­gate has crossed the FDA fin­ish line, gain­ing an ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval a full two months ahead of sched­ule.

Po­livy, or po­latuzum­ab ve­dotin, is a first-in-class drug tar­get­ing CD79b — a pro­tein promi­nent in B-cell non-Hodgkin lym­phoma. It will now be mar­ket­ed for dif­fuse large B-cell lym­phoma as part of a reg­i­men that al­so in­cludes the chemother­a­py ben­damus­tine and a ver­sion of rit­ux­imab (Rit­ux­an).

An in­censed Cat­a­lyst Phar­ma sues the FDA, ac­cus­ing agency of bow­ing to po­lit­i­cal pres­sure and break­ing fed­er­al law

Af­ter hint­ing it was ex­plor­ing the le­gal­i­ty of the FDA’s ap­proval of a ri­val drug from fam­i­ly-run com­pa­ny Ja­cobus Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Cat­a­lyst Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals on Wednes­day filed a law­suit against the health reg­u­la­tor — ef­fec­tive­ly ac­cus­ing the agency of bow­ing to po­lit­i­cal pres­sure sur­round­ing sky­rock­et­ing drug prices.

Be­fore Cat­a­lyst’s Fir­dapse (which car­ries an av­er­age an­nu­al list price of $375,000) was sanc­tioned for use in Lam­bert-Eaton myas­thenic syn­drome (LEMS) by the FDA, hun­dreds of pa­tients had been able to ac­cess a sim­i­lar drug from com­pound­ing phar­ma­cies for a frac­tion of the cost, or Ja­cobus’ for free, as part of an FDA-rat­i­fied com­pas­sion­ate use pro­gram. But the ap­proval of the Cat­a­lyst drug — ac­com­pa­nied by mar­ket ex­clu­siv­i­ty span­ning sev­en years — ef­fec­tive­ly pre­clud­ed Ja­cobus and com­pound­ing phar­ma­cies from sell­ing their ver­sions.

Plagued by de­lays, As­traZeneca HQ costs soar to £750M as it edges to­ward 2020 com­ple­tion

In the lat­est up­date on As­traZeneca’s de­lay-prone HQ project, the phar­ma gi­ant re­vealed that the cost of con­struc­tion has swelled to £750 mil­lion ($956 mil­lion) — more than dou­ble the orig­i­nal es­ti­mate in 2013.

The move-in date is still in 2020, a spokesper­son con­firmed, af­ter As­traZeneca pushed pro­ject­ed com­ple­tion from 2016 to 2017, and then to the spring of 2019. While the ini­tial plan called for a £330 mil­lion (then $500 mil­lion) in­vest­ment, the cost bal­looned to £500 mil­lion ($650 mil­lion), and more in the most re­cent up­date.

Fresh analy­sis spot­lights car­dio ben­e­fit of J&J's In­vokana in di­a­betes pa­tients with­out his­to­ry of CV dis­ease

In­vokana sales may be mut­ed, but the di­a­betes drug is set to get some love af­ter its mak­er J&J un­veiled da­ta at the Amer­i­can Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion meet­ing on Tues­day sug­gest­ing the med­i­cine can con­fer a car­dio­vas­cu­lar ben­e­fit in pa­tients who do not have pre­ex­ist­ing CV dis­ease.

Back in April, J&J had re­port­ed that in the late-stage CRE­DENCE study, the SGLT2 drug scored a 30% re­duc­tion in the risk of a com­pos­ite of ail­ments: a pro­gres­sion to the dou­bling of serum cre­a­ti­nine, end-stage kid­ney dis­ease and re­nal or car­dio­vas­cu­lar death. In terms of sec­ondary end­points, the drug was al­so found be heart-pro­tec­tive: low­er­ing the risk of CV death and hos­pi­tal­iza­tion for heart fail­ure by 31%, as well as ma­jor ad­verse CV events by 20%. In March, the com­pa­ny sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion to ex­pand In­vokana’s la­bel to re­flect its im­pact on chron­ic kid­ney dis­ease.

Sil­i­con Val­ley's most an­tic­i­pat­ed slide deck just dropped. What does it mean for bio­phar­ma's dig­i­tal teams?

These aren’t the typ­i­cal slides you’d see at End­points — no mol­e­cules, clin­i­cal pro­grams, or p-val­ues. In­stead, we’ll talk dig­i­tal and in­ter­net trends, fac­tors that elite glob­al brands — re­gard­less of in­dus­try — must first mea­sure and un­der­stand be­fore de­ploy­ing prod­ucts in­to the world. That’s a con­cept that most of our Big Phar­ma au­di­ence is in tune with. Dig­i­tal aware­ness is key to suc­cess in the dis­cov­ery, de­vel­op­ment, and mar­ket­ing of new bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, and most of the ma­jors now have a chief dig­i­tal of­fi­cer: No­var­tis, Sanofi, and Pfiz­er, just to name a few.