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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was refreshing and invigorating, even if it was rather cold and disruptive. Such circumstances call for a hot cup or three of stimulation, which we will have to grab on the run, since we are attending the well-hyped Woodstock of biopharma gatherings in the City by the Bay. Perhaps some of you can relate. If not, think of it this way — picture way too many well-coiffed ants on an anthill. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits to help you get going. Hope your day is smashing and, as always, do keep in touch …

Celgene (CELG) agreed to pay as much as $7 billion to acquire Impact Biomedicines and a so-called JAK2 inhibitor that has shown promise as a potential treatment for a type of blood cancer called myelofibrosis. The deal comes after Celgene experienced setbacks in its inflammatory and immunology franchise and lowered 2020 financial guidance, STAT notes. Baird analyst Brian Skorney writes the company “needed to do a deal,” but the drug, which Sanofi cast off over safety issues, has “relatively limited” market opportunity.


Meanwhile, Celgene executive chairman Bob Hugin is considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Robert Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat whose corruption trial recently ended in a mistrialPolitico reports. Menendez is up for reelection this year and likely faces a contested primary, but has already sewn up Democratic organizational support. Hugin was a donor to President Trump and a Trump delegate at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

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  • May I observe that Abbott spent roughly the same amount $6.9 Billion USD to acquire Knoll Pharma and it’s promising compound “D2E7.” Adjusted for inflation that would be just under $10 Billion USD in 2017 but the now AbbVie product known as Humira did turn out to be worth the price. Time will tell.

    • Working at Knoll during the transaction it was a good deal. You can’t put a valuation on a company based on its pipeline, no matter how promising. Abbott paid 3X CURRENT sales at that time, which standard metrics for valuing a company.

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