Pfizer in talks with Medivation over potential bid – reports

Pfizer has emerged as the next potential suitor for oncology firm, Medivation, which has developed the prostate cancer drug, Xtandi (enzalutamide).

Last week Medivation rejected a $9.3 billion bid from Sanofi, saying it was too low, and a number of other companies, including AstraZeneca, are rumoured to be considering making offers.

Thomson Reuters reported that Pfizer has approached Medivation and expressed an interest in buying it, citing unnamed sources. But Medivation, which has teamed with Astellas to develop Xtandi, has not yet decided whether it should begin negotiations with Pfizer and is in discussions with legal advisers.

Pfizer is on the acquisition trail again after its mega-merger with Allergan fell through at the beginning of last month following an intervention by the US tax authorities.

Ian Read, Pfizer’s CEO, told analysts in a briefing following its Q1 results that the he is looking for companies with products in, or near, the market – and Medivation fits that bill with the already-marketed Xtandi and two other cancer drugs in late-stage development.

Read said: “We’ll look for assets that we think can add value to shareholders that are appropriately priced and meet our returns. We’ve always been very disciplined on that, although not concerned about pulling the trigger when we see those opportunities.

“We would be biased more towards products that are near-market or in-market that we believe we could generate incremental growth and value from by owning them, rather than looking at very early products, because we think we have a very full and complete pipeline in that area,” he added.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Sanofi is waiting for Medivation to put itself up for sale – although it has no plans to sweeten its offer with a “contingent value right” that pays out to shareholders should certain financial targets be met.

This strategy allowed Sanofi to overcome resistance from shareholders in Genzyme, which it bought in 2011.

Related stories:

Sanofi undeterred after Medivation spurns $9.3bn bid

Medivation update: AstraZeneca considers $7bn bid

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