* Shares up 69 pct, above 3-year high
* FDA nod for 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg for MDD
* Co says in talks to find a partner
(Adds analyst comments; updates share movement)
By Shravya Jain
BANGALORE, Jan 24 Shares of Clinical Data Inc
CLDA.O jumped as much as 69 percent on Monday after the
company's potential blockbuster antidepressant Viibryd received
U.S. health regulators' nod on Friday and the company hinted at
the possibility of being bought over.
"We will continue to explore the possibility of obtaining a
change of control transaction that is acceptable to our board
of directors and shareholders," Chief Executive Andrew Fromkin
said on a conference call with analysts.
The company has had discussions with many parties over the
last few months, Fromkin said.
Analysts said pharma companies like Eli Lilly & Co (LLY.N),
Forest Laboratories Inc FRX.N or GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L)
could be interested in partnering Viibryd, looking to plug gaps
in their pipeline or prepare for impending patent cliffs.
According to BMO Capital Markets analyst Robert Hazlett,
the same companies could also be interested in buying Clinical
Data -- a real possibility in the near future.
"When the company is also that open in saying there might
be change of control, I'd pay attention and I think investors
should as well," Hazlett said.
Buying the company makes sense as its $450.2 million market
cap is "not terribly onerous" for a larger pharma, Hazlett
Clinical Data has a stress reliever Stedivaze in late-stage
trials. Others in the pipeline are in early stages of
The company also said European approval process of the drug
would depend on outcome of the partnering discussions.
U.S. patent for Vilazodone, the compound that will be sold
under the brand Viibryd, will expire in June 2022. The European
patent will expire in May 2022. [ID:nSGE6AF0HI]
The Newton, Massachusetts-based biotech and diagnostics
testing firm said it expects to make the oral drug available in
the United States by the second quarter of this year.
Analysts expect the drug's unique dual mechanism of action
to differentiate itself from existing and upcoming treatments.
"Its safety profile will make it a likely choice for those
with sexual side effects," Piper Jaffray analyst Edward
Tenthoff wrote in a note.
BMO analyst Hazlett expects the drug to grab more than
three percent of all anti-depressant prescriptions at peak at
the end of the decade.
Roth Capital Partners analyst Andrew Vaino, however, said
Viibryd could capture 10 percent of the approximately $11
billion anti-depressant market.
Clinical Data's shares were up 61 percent at $24.21 in
afternoon trade on Monday on Nasdaq. They reached a three year
high of $25.35 earlier in the session.
(Additional reporting by Anand Basu; Editing by Maju Samuel,