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Biogen soars 13% on report of potential acquisition by South Korea’s Samsung Group

A sign marks a Biogen facility in Cambridge

Reuters

  • Biogen soared as much as 13% on Wednesday following a report of potential buyout interest.
  • The Korea Economic Daily said South Korea’s Samsung Group is in negotiations to buy Biogen.
  • A potential deal would value the drug maker at more than $40 billion, according to the report.
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Biogen stock soared as much as 13% on Wednesday following a Korea Economic Daily report that Samsung Group is in negotiations to acquire the Massachusetts-based biotech company.

The report, which cited investment banking sources, said Biogen could fetch a valuation of more than $42 billion. That would represent at least a 22% premium from Tuesday’s close. 

Biogen is up only 5% year-to-date, but it was up about 70% earlier this year following the FDA’s approval of its controversial Alzheimer’s therapy, Aduhelm. The drug, which hasn’t shown evidence of reversing or curing Alzheimer’s disease, has seen little uptake by doctors who are skeptical of its effectiveness and high price tag of $56,000.

In the third quarter, Aduhelm generated only $14 million in revenue, reaching only 2% of its targeted patients, according to the report. Biogen announced last week that it wou ultimately cut its price almost in half 

“Samsung is at the negotiating table with the sell side to acquire Biogen,” the report said, citing a senior official at a global investment bank. The deal would represent Samsung’s largest acquisition since it bought Harman for $8 billion in 2016.

While most know Samsung for its Galaxy smartphones and electrical appliances, the South Korean-based conglomerate also operates in the healthcare field, making biosimilar drugs.

Samsung formed its biosimilar drug unit with biogen as a joint venture in 2011, with Samsung owning the controlling stake. That joint venture has hindered Samsung’s ability to make some biosimilar drugs that would impede on Biogen’s drug sales. A potential combination of the two companies would remove that hurdle. 

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