Bloomberg reported that according to sources, the companies are holding initial talks after J&J’s offer.
Actelion is a leader in the pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) market with key drugs like Opsumit, Tracleer, Ventavis, Veletri and Uptravi. The newer drugs – Opsumit and Uptravi –have been received well and are poised to become blockbuster drugs. These should make up for the lost revenues from Actelion’s older PAH medicine, Tracleer, which is facing competitive pressures. Tracleer is rivalled by Gilead Sciences Inc.’s GILD Letairis and United Therapeutics Corporation’s UTHR Remodulin, Adcirca and Tyvaso.
Tracleer lost patent protection in the U.S. last year and will also lose exclusivity in the EU in early 2017. Sales of Tracleer declined 18% in constant exchange rates in the first nine months of 2016, while that of Opsumit surged 63%. Uptravi, which was launched this year, recorded sales of CHF 160 million in the first nine months of 2016. Actelion’s strong sales performance enabled it to increase its 2016 guidance.
At the third-quarter conference call, when asked about its acquisition plans, J&J mentioned that as far as pharmaceuticals are concerned it will most likely use an “acquisition type” strategy instead of a licensing strategy if it decides to add another major therapeutic area to its existing five major therapeutic areas.
J&J also said it has specific areas of focus in the Consumer segment, mainly international growth in emerging markets, over-the-counter medications and the beauty space in Asia. Within the Medical Devices segment, J&J continues to look for bolt-on acquisitions in orthopedics and general surgery. Although certain areas like structural heart look attractive in the cardiovascular segment, the company was pretty clear about being disciplined from a valuation aspect.
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