Exelixis (EXEL) and Theravance Biopharma (TBPH) tick off most of the acquisition boxes for Big Pharma.
Late development-stage and commercial-stage biotech companies such as Exelixis are particularly attractive acquisition targets. This is in part due to reduced risk. This according to Alan Carr, a Needham analyst.
Theravance has one approved drug, an antibiotic for hard-to-treat infections. Beyond that, Exelixis may be attracting the interest of 18 pharmaceuticals.
However, some biotechs may stand a better chance of being acquired vs. others. Since January 2014, there have been 37 acquisitions of public biotech companies involving a payment of more than $250 million upfront.
Oncology was a key target for U.S. and Japanese pharmas. In addition, while rare-disease plays are likely to be acquired at later stages.