Tomahawk, WI 08/25/2014 (Basicsmedia) – Swiss giant pharmaceutical company Roche Holding AG (ROG) has reportedly tabled an $8.3 billion takeover bid for California-based InterMune Inc. (NASDAQ:ITMN) as one of the ways of expanding its respiratory drugs portfolio according to Deputy Editor EMEA, Surani Fernando, in an interview on CNBC.
A deal of $74 a share has been reached between the two companies, which according to Mrs. Fernando is a little bit high and should be of excitement to InterMune Inc. (NASDAQ:ITMN)’s shareholders. The takeover bid highlights the potential and confidence that Roche has on Intermune’s lead drug Pirfenidone that is to be used’ for the treatment of a rare form of lung cancer that kills in five years upon approval.
“[…] we were expecting something to happen here but I think the value $8.3 that’s pretty big-big deal for InterMune and I think InterMune shareholders would probably be pretty happy,” said Mrs. Fernando.
Roche is pursuing InterMune Inc. (NASDAQ:ITMN) as it seeks to use Pirfenidone to expand its pipeline of drugs for pulmonary diseases and also for fending off competition from the likes of Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:SGYP). Roche on the other hand looks to have closed the door on increasing its stake in its Japanese partner, Chugai Pharmaceutical for $10 billion, after the company’s management, signaled opposition to its advances.
The deal comes after research in May showed that Pirfenidone had the ability to reduce by half chances of a patient dying from idiopathic fibrosis disease. The bid by Roche also opens the door for another company to buy stakes in Chugai pharmaceuticals according to Mrs. Fernando.
“Chugai has obviously been touted as a bit of target over the years so we could see some customs company trying getting into the Japanese space, and that is still a possibility for big pharmaceuticals,” said Mrs. Fernando.
The $8.3 billion bid by Roche represents a 38% premium to InterMune Inc. (NASDAQ:ITMN)’s Friday closing price with many analysts believing that the company expects Pirfenidone to generate up to $1 billion in peak sales. The deal also highlights Roche’s strategy of pursuing specific-brands that it deems necessary for expanding its product offerings rather than seeking to diversify its operations or seek a mega-merger.