In 2011, drug developer Elan
It's not easy to follow up on a year like that. What will Elan do for an encore in 2012? Let's figure it out.
What a difference a year makes
When Elan sold its drug-delivery technologies to Alkermes
Management plans to sell those shares in a controlled manner, thus converting the equity holding into liquid cash -- don't invest in Elan as a long-term proxy for Alkermes, in other words. "We're not a venture capital company," says CEO Kelly Martin. "We're not a private equity company, so our shareholders will expect us over time to take this investment and monetize it."
What to do with all this cash?
So Elan is going to improve its balance sheet a bit further in 2012, using proceeds from the Alkermes sale. But the company also wants to invest in more drug research, more clinical trials, and more of its core business overall. Multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri carries the entire company on its shoulders today, but there's plenty of cool stuff in the pipeline.
For example, the research done for Tysabri helps Elan's scientists understand other brain-breaking diseases as well. There are several Alzheimer's treatments (including a partnership with Johnson & Johnson
Don't fall asleep at the wheel!
Meanwhile, Tysabri is surrounded by a growing posse of new therapies. Many of them are simple pills, not scary injections or infusions. Elan and development partner Biogen Idec
If that Alzheimer's drug comes through, it will help J&J fund its meaty dividends. Learn all about that payout and 10 other dividend ideas for the new year in this special report. It's free for a limited time, so grab your copy today.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Elan and Johnson & Johnson, as well as creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.