FTC focuses on psoriasis franchise for Bristol-Celgene deal review

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has sought additional information from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Celgene Corp and is focusing on the companies' psoriasis treatments as part of its review of their planned merger, Bristol-Myers said on Tuesday.

Reuters March 27, 2019 00:06:59 IST
FTC focuses on psoriasis franchise for Bristol-Celgene deal review

FTC focuses on psoriasis franchise for BristolCelgene deal review

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has sought additional information from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Celgene Corp and is focusing on the companies' psoriasis treatments as part of its review of their planned merger, Bristol-Myers said on Tuesday.

"The parties understand that the FTC's review is focused on marketed and pipeline products for the treatment of psoriasis," Bristol-Myers said in a filing.

Celgene's psoriasis drug Otezla brought $448 million in sales in the quarter ended Dec. 31. Bristol-Myers is also developing a treatment for the condition and in September reported positive results from a mid-stage trial of its plaque psoriasis drug.

"Given the diverse range of assets from across biopharma that are either already on the market, or in development to treat psoriasis, we would be surprised if the overlap between Bristol and Celgene's portfolios is too much for the FTC to get comfortable with," Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan said in a note.

However, the FTC review is not the only challenge the companies face.

Some Bristol-Myers investors are against the planned $74 billion takeover of Celgene, as they see potential risk associated with Celgene's pipeline, and expect a drop in sales of its flagship multiple myeloma drug, Revlimid, when it loses U.S. exclusivity in 2022.

However, the cancer drugmaker maintains that the Celgene acquisition would provide "significant advantages" with fewer risks compared to options like pursuing a series of small transactions.

Bristol-Myers said both companies expect to close the merger in the third quarter of 2019.

Shares of Bristol-Myers were up $1.8 percent at $48.33 and Celgene rose 1.6 percent to $89.36.

(Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.