Ludwig Hantson, Alexion CEO

Why pay $4B for a steady di­et of dis­ap­point­ment? Porges turns thumbs down on Alex­ion’s M&A strat­e­gy, of­fers some point­ers

When Alex­ion an­nounced re­cent­ly that it was pay­ing $1.4 bil­lion to bag Por­to­la and its un­der­per­form­ing Fac­tor Xa in­hibitor re­ver­sal agent, you could hear the head-scratch­ing go­ing on around vir­tu­al Wall Street.

Why was Alex­ion go­ing down the dis­count lane for new prod­ucts? And why some­thing like this? An­a­lysts have been urg­ing Alex­ion to get se­ri­ous about M&A for years if it was se­ri­ous about di­ver­si­fy­ing the com­pa­ny be­yond Soliris and its suc­ces­sor drug. But this wasn’t the kind of heavy-im­pact deal they were look­ing for.

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