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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: Twitter: Dereklowe

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July 21, 2014

Allergan Twists and Turns

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Posted by Derek

It's getting nasty over at Allergan. They're still trying to fight off a takeover attempt by Valeant, making the case that the company's R&D efforts are not a waste of money (which, only slightly simplified, is the Valeant position regarding every company they're taking over).

But Allergan's had a lot of trouble getting one of their drugs (Semprana) through the FDA. Semprana is an inhaled version of the classic dihydroergotamine therapy for migraine, and had been rejected last year when it was still known as Levadex. The recent further delay isn't helping Allergan make its case, and Valeant is using this news to peel off some more shareholders.

This morning comes word that Allergan is cutting back staff. That Fierce Biotech report says that it looks like a lot of the cuts will be hitting discovery R&D, which makes you wonder if Allergan will manage to escape Valeant's grip only by becoming what Valeant wanted to make them.

Comments (7) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets | Regulatory Affairs


1. watcher on July 21, 2014 12:28 PM writes...

Sounds like Allergan may be making Valeant's eventual job easier.

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2. paperclip on July 21, 2014 12:37 PM writes...

So sad. Especially since there's not a lot of other companies in the area for laid-off workers to hop over to.

I just don't "get" hostile takeovers. I mean, I understand the whole shareholder thing, yada yada yada, but there's still the bigger picture. If we're supposed to believe that corporations are people, then isn't a hostile takeover an egregious violation of a person's autonomy?

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3. Anonymous on July 21, 2014 1:27 PM writes...

@2: No, because employment with a company is always voluntary, and a person is technically more "automomous" (without contractual obligations) if they are unemployed.

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4. Dr. Manhattan on July 21, 2014 1:45 PM writes...

A lot of the "shareholder value" created ends up in the hands of a very few large shareholders. With some exceptions, they are by and large more interested in a lucrative "exit" and payday than in any long term value the company might create by remaining viable. This is how 1% ended up controlling 40% of the money in the economy.

It's interesting that the argument that the company will create future value was used by Pascal Soriot at AZ to keep his company out of Pfizer's clutches (at least temporarily. Whether that will work long term remains to be seen.

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5. Hap on July 21, 2014 2:16 PM writes...

This sounds like the Borg become corporate.

Perhaps Valeant's motto should be "Pharma first - we'll strip mine the other industries later."

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6. PhDforMe on July 21, 2014 3:39 PM writes...

With all this news of cutting R&D why the hell is anyone telling young people to that the future is bright if you get your PhD in Chemistry with an org syn background? Oh yeah cheap academic labor!

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7. Anonymous on August 22, 2014 11:51 AM writes...

This is a late addition, but at FiercePharma today they're talking about possible takeover targets for Pfizer if they can't get AZ:

"Analysts and media reports have trotted out a variety of other potential Pfizer targets--even GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK). There's also Valeant ($VRX), Bloomberg points out, but the Canadian drugmaker is embroiled in a hostile move to buy Allergan ($AGN)."

I'd like to see Pfizer take Valeant- Valeant can dish it, but can they take it? Live by the sword, die by the sword.

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