Sanofi may go hostile in Medivation bid as Xtandi sales soar

Sanofi has said it may go hostile in its £9.3 billion bid to acquire cancer drug firm Medivation, which is enjoying soaring sales of prostate cancer medicine Xtandi.

Medivation last week rejected Sanofi’s bid amid rumours that other companies such as Pfizer are also interested. Amgen has also been mentioned as a potential suitor for the firm – a situation which Medivation shareholders might hope to lead to a bidding war and drive up the price. 

In a letter to Medivation’s board, Sanofi’s CEO Olivier Brandicourt said that the company’s share price had almost doubled thanks to speculation of a takeover, arguing its offer at $52.50 per share is fair.

Brandicourt said that if Medivation is prepared to engage in “good faith discussion and demonstrate additional value, we could be in a position to revise our offer.”

But Brandicourt’s letter concluded with a threat to take the bid directly to Medivation’s shareholders, noting that they have the ability to act at any time by written consent to remove and replace its board.

He added: “If the Medivation board of directors continues to refuse to engage with us, then we intend to commence a process to remove and replace members of the board.”

Medivation then issued a statement, saying that Sanofi’s letter offered nothing new and that it continued to reject the bid.

In Q1 results announced shortly afterwards, the San Francisco-based firm said global sales of prostate cancer drug Xtandi (enzalutamide), increased 53% compared with last year’s Q1, to $547 million.

Developed in partnership with Astellas, the drug could generate even more sales as it is in phase 3 development in three more cancer indications.

Related stories:

Sanofi goes public with $9.3 billion offer for Medivation

Medivation update: AstraZeneca considers $7 billion bid

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