(Adds share price, healthcare M&A activity)
By Soyoung Kim and Olivia Oran
NEW YORK Aug 13 Biotechnology company InterMune
Inc is working with financial advisers to evaluate
strategic options as it braces for potential takeover interest
from larger drugmakers, people familiar with the matter said.
InterMune is in the early stages of considering options,
including a potential sale, and is not soliciting takeover
offers, the people said on Wednesday, asking not to be named
because the matter is not public.
The drugmaker, which specializes in treating fatal scarring
of the lungs and has a market value of more than $5 billion, is
being advised by Centerview Partners and Goldman Sachs Group
in its review, the people added.
A small number of drugmakers are in the early stages of
evaluating a potential offer for InterMune and are working with
advisers, but there is no guarantee one will materialize, the
Shares of InterMune jumped 11 percent to $50.70 on Nasdaq on
Wednesday, giving it a market capitalization of nearly $5.5
Representatives for Centerview could not be immediately
reached for comment. Spokesmen for InterMune and Goldman Sachs
declined to comment.
Separately, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday that
InterMune has drawn takeover bids from Sanofi SA,
Roche Holding AG, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and
Actelion Ltd. (bloom.bg/1kBEZJi)
Makers of orphan drugs such as InterMune, which develop
treatments for rare diseases, are attractive for larger
biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies looking to offset a
drop in sales as their patents on blockbuster products expire.
InterMune had considered selling itself about three years
ago and held discussions with potential buyers. They decided not
to pursue a deal at that time due to uncertainty over data for
the company's pirfenidone drug, people familiar with the matter
told Reuters previously.
However, buyer interest has been rekindled this year after
the company announced positive late-stage trial results for
pirfenidone in February.
The drug treats idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, which
is characterized by a slow decline in lung function and has no
Healthcare companies are merging at a record pace, with
year-to-date activity topping $345.9 billion, compared to $212.2
billion in the year-ago period, according to Thomson Reuters
Recent large deals have included AbbVie Inc's $54
billion acquisition of Shire PLC, Medtronic Inc's
acquisition of Covidien PLC for $42.9 billion,
and Pfizer Inc's abortive $118 billion attempt to buy
(Reporting by Soyoung Kim and Olivia Oran in New York; Editing
by James Dalgleish and Richard Chang)