Why ViroPharma Shares Skyrocketed

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of ViroPharma Inc. (NASDAQ: VPHM  ) , a biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes therapies to treat serious and often rare diseases, jumped as much as 30% after a report from Bloomberg hinted that there may be interest from two suitors in acquiring ViroPharma.

So what: According to Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter, ViroPharma has hired Goldman Sachs as its adviser to seek out potential suitors for the company. The report names Sanofi (NYSE: SNY  ) and Shire (NASDAQ: SHPG  ) as the two most interested suitors. Representative from all four companies declined to comment on the rumors.

Now what: Although today's move is most certainly welcome by optimists, it isn't likely to change your long-term investing thesis of ViroPharma. The future of ViroPharma relies on the continued success of its ultra-rare hereditary angioedema drug Cinryze, and the potential that trials for maribavir -- its anti-cytomegalovirus drug for bone marrow and liver transplant patients -- will produce positive results. This also isn't the first time ViroPharma was supposedly put on the auction block. Back in June, shares rallied after Reuters noted preliminary interest in the company, only to see those gains whittled away over the coming weeks as no new rumors surfaced. My suggestion would be to stick to what we know about ViroPharma (i.e. its FDA-approved and developing drugs) and let these rumors be white noise until we get some confirmation from the companies in question.

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