Corante

About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Emolecules
ChemSpider
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
PubChem
Not Voodoo
DailyMed
Druglib
Clinicaltrials.gov

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
Kilomentor
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
ChemBark
Realizations in Biostatistics
Chemjobber
Pharmalot
ChemSpider Blog
Pharmagossip
Med-Chemist
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
SimBioSys
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Business|Bytes|Genes|Molecules
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Depth-First
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa


Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
FuturePundit
Aetiology
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Sciencebase
Pharyngula
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net


Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
GruntDoc
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine


Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem


Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Instapundit
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus


Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« Gitcher SF5 Groups Right Here | Main | Molecular Printing of Drug Molecules. Say What? »

April 21, 2014

Pfizer Walks Again By Night

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

So the Sunday Times came out with a story saying that Pfizer has attempted a bid for AstraZeneca. This is something of a surprise, at least for me. Pfizer has most certainly done things like this in the past, but I was under the impression that current CEO Ian Read had sworn off the practice. He's been talking for some time now about how the company needs to be the right size, to focus on drug discovery, and so on, and swallowing AZ just seems to be a return to old habits.

But the Bloomberg follow-up story on this scoop does mention how Read's answers to merger questions seems to have shifted a bit over the last year or two. The Sunday Times piece says that AZ is believed to have been unenthusiastic, and that talks are no longer continuing. But the whole thing makes a person think that Pfizer is hungry for a big deal again, and that means that no one is safe.

Update: more follow-up from the Guardian.

Comments (34) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


COMMENTS

1. newnickname on April 21, 2014 8:21 AM writes...

Anyone else having problems viewing the Comments on some of the topics? Seems to be happening a lot, lately. I get a blank / frozen window.

Permalink to Comment

2. Anonymous on April 21, 2014 4:30 PM writes...

#1 i have experienced the same issue. i usually just give up and come back later, which seems to work

Permalink to Comment

3. alx on April 21, 2014 4:31 PM writes...

I am having the same problem with reading comments.

This rumor is sad and bad news. Hope it stays a rumor.

Permalink to Comment

4. alx on April 21, 2014 4:32 PM writes...

I am having the same problem with reading comments.

This rumor is sad and bad news. Hope it stays a rumor.

Permalink to Comment

5. alx on April 21, 2014 4:49 PM writes...

I am having the same problem with reading comments.

This rumor is sad and bad news. Hope it stays a rumor.

Permalink to Comment

6. alx on April 21, 2014 4:50 PM writes...

I am having the same problem with reading comments.

This rumor is sad and bad news. Hope it stays a rumor.

Permalink to Comment

7. alx on April 21, 2014 4:51 PM writes...

I am having the same problem with reading comments. This rumor is sad and bad news.

Permalink to Comment

8. alx on April 21, 2014 4:53 PM writes...

I am having the same problem with reading comments. This rumor is sad and bad news.

Permalink to Comment

9. MikeC on April 21, 2014 5:30 PM writes...

@Derek ... I don't know what the post's headline refrences for sure - but I'm reminded of Nick Danger: "He walks again by night ... ruthlessly - I wonder where Ruth is?"

Permalink to Comment

10. MikeC on April 21, 2014 5:31 PM writes...

@Derek ... I don't know what the post's headline refrences for sure - but I'm reminded of Nick Danger: "He walks again by night ... ruthlessly - I wonder where Ruth is?"

Permalink to Comment

11. Bob on April 21, 2014 5:53 PM writes...

Heck, Pfizer is that company, when it takes over just screws up the entire organization...,massive layoffs and then 5 yrs down the line no increase to pipeline. If there is one absolutely worst pharma company ..it has to be Pfizer. They are the Enron of pharma industry.

Permalink to Comment

12. simpl on April 21, 2014 6:26 PM writes...

Somehow, this seems more inevitable than Valeant swallowing Allergan.

Permalink to Comment

13. Nick K on April 21, 2014 7:26 PM writes...

Could someone explain the business rationale behind this proposed takeover? AZ is a failing company with a sparse pipeline, so why is Pfizer interested?

Permalink to Comment

14. NHR_GUY on April 21, 2014 7:49 PM writes...

Been the unfortunate victim of a Pfizer take over.....TWICE! Yea go figure someone really hates me. I'm just glad they are looking at AZ and not my current company. It's like the Eye of Sauron.....you just hope it does not cast it's glare on you. To the AZ folks, sorry for the news. If the deal goes through.....get your package and get out!!! For the love of all that is holy. Run don't walk. Just go.

Permalink to Comment

15. Nick K on April 21, 2014 8:17 PM writes...

If the merger/takeover goes ahead will the resulting company be called PfAZer?

Permalink to Comment

16. Anonymous BMS Researcher on April 21, 2014 10:13 PM writes...

I know all too many people who have Pfired coffee cups or shirts.

Permalink to Comment

17. Anonymous on April 22, 2014 12:06 AM writes...

Pfizer has learned how to do mergers efficiently after the Wyeth deal. Keep the pipeline and fire the people, all of them.

Permalink to Comment

18. Anonymous on April 22, 2014 12:11 AM writes...

Pfizer is looking for a immunoncology foothold and MedImmune. The rest will be jettisoned with speed.

Permalink to Comment

19. Anonymous on April 22, 2014 1:38 AM writes...

I can't see this ending well for anyone except AZ's shareholders, allowing them to sell at a high price before the company withers into dust.

Permalink to Comment

20. Anonymous on April 22, 2014 3:05 AM writes...

Feel even more sorry for those people deciding whether to move to Cambridge from AP

Permalink to Comment

21. Anchor on April 22, 2014 5:56 AM writes...

The name Pfizer is a pharmaceutical equivalent of serial rapist! 'Nuff said.

Permalink to Comment

22. Mark on April 22, 2014 8:43 AM writes...

I wonder if this press release "AZ gives the nod to £1.6bn Merck bid" has anything to do with this?

Mark

Permalink to Comment

23. Pf*!$_off_Pfizer on April 22, 2014 1:20 PM writes...

From the Guardian: "Pfizer, the world's largest drug group, is said to be keen to use some of a £40bn cash mountain obtained from its foreign subsidiaries, which would trigger huge tax bills if it was repatriated to the US to be handed out in dividends."

I'd love to believe that the rationale for this is Pfizer's admiration for AZ's scientists, rather than the blatant tax avoidance exercise it appears to be, but it's impossible not to be cynical. I think they'll strip any late-stage assets worth having then close everything within 3 years.

This would be a bad deal for patients and competition, let alone scientists. Let's hope it doesn't go through, for everyone's sakes.


Permalink to Comment

24. Anonymous on April 22, 2014 2:03 PM writes...

Isn't Pfizer's priority the health of patients when buying up other companies?

Permalink to Comment

25. DrSnowboard on April 23, 2014 1:35 PM writes...

If Pfizer buy AZ for MedImmune then they really are deranged..oh wait...

Permalink to Comment

26. petros on April 28, 2014 2:39 AM writes...

Confirmation and suggestions that Pfizer may go for a hostile bid

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27185027

And it is suggested that the enlarged entity would be UK-based!

Permalink to Comment

27. DrSnowboard on April 28, 2014 3:26 AM writes...

Given that Pfizer said "... the combined firm would have management in both the US and the UK, but would list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange." I think any idea it would be UK-based, other than having a set of marble steps leading to an office block, is a smokescreen.
Predators don't usually move their centre of operations.

Permalink to Comment

28. DrSnowboard on April 28, 2014 5:33 AM writes...

Ah,
"Under Pfizer’s proposal, the two companies would be combined into a U.K.-based holding company, with headquarters in New York, Pfizer said. Buying AstraZeneca would allow the company to use some of the $70 billion of cash it has built up overseas that would be subject to taxes if brought back to the U.S."
Tax avoidance.

Permalink to Comment

29. Anonymous on April 28, 2014 5:48 AM writes...

There's really good coverage of the Pfizer briefing with journalists on the Guardian business blog right now. Looks very ominous for AZ frankly, judging by Read's responses to some of the questions. Good luck everyone, I fear you're going to need it

Permalink to Comment

30. Nick K on April 28, 2014 5:58 AM writes...

Calling all AZ employees: update your CV and prepare to jump!

Permalink to Comment

31. Von Ribbentrop on April 28, 2014 5:39 PM writes...

Heil Pfizer! Even The Fuhrer rarely ordered the same earth scorched twice over...

Permalink to Comment

32. Investor on April 28, 2014 7:11 PM writes...

I hold a large stake in Pfizer and am glad to see Ian is applying his background (accounting) to increase shareholder value. If I was invested in Vertex, I would be worried since apparently their scientists have nothing better to do all day than start rumors on blogs. I am amazed Derek's managers let him use company time to spew his trash. Then again, this is why I do not invest in Vertex.

Permalink to Comment

33. Von Ribbentrop on April 29, 2014 9:09 AM writes...

@32 Lord Haw Haw walks by night again...

Permalink to Comment

34. Anonymous on April 29, 2014 9:50 PM writes...

The Pfirings will continue until moral improves...and significantly I may add. If you have a problem with that then please contact HR or walk the plank!

Permalink to Comment

POST A COMMENT




Remember Me?



EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
XKCD on Protein Folding
The 2014 Chemistry Nobel: Beating the Diffraction Limit
German Pharma, Or What's Left of It
Sunesis Fails with Vosaroxin
A New Way to Estimate a Compound's Chances?
Meinwald Honored
Molecular Biology Turns Into Chemistry
Speaking at Northeastern