I haven't the foggiest if ViroPharma is 'in play'. But that is the latest market takeover rumor and investors did spend their money driving ViroPharma shares up by 28% on Friday. The firm is said to have hired Goldman Sachs to represent it in discussions -- and those pursuers are said to include the likes of Sanofi and Shire.
ViroPharma's key asset is its drug Cinryze for the treatment of hereditary angioedema (HAE). The disease is an orphan that afflicts approximately 6000 patients. The drug's price is $350,000 per treatment course. For you non-math majors, that would translate to a maximum market of $2.1 B if we assume ALL patients were treated and 3rd party payers would swallow $350 K per treatment. Not likely, but nevertheless an attractive rare disease market. Both Sanofi and Shire play in that space, and Shire in particular has a competitive/complementary drug for the same disease called Firazyr.
An analyst for Deutsche Bank says that ViroPharm's acquisition by a company already calling on HAE patients (e.g. Shire) would cause its stock price to be worth $52 per share. While a purchase by a non-HAE participant in the market would cause the value to be only $46 per share. It all has to do with those magical synergies M&A folks are so fond of talking about. See Fierce Biotech and Bloomberg.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Sep 16th 2013.