Let's take a closer look at four stocks -- Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:BHC), Allergan (UNKNOWN:AGN.DL), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), and CytRx (NASDAQ:CYTR) -- which could all loom large in Wednesday's health care headlines.
Valeant raises its bid for Allergan, sells skin care products to Nestlé
Valeant just made two major announcements -- that it was raising its bid for Allergan, and that it was selling the rights to several skin products to Nestlé (OTC:NSRGY).
Valeant raised its bid for Botox-maker Allergan to $58.30 in cash per share, along with 0.83 of a share of Valeant (currently worth $130), the contingent value right (CVR) related to Allergan's potential Darpin eye drug sales worth $25 per share (based on $20 billion in cumulative shares over the next ten years), and a commitment to invest up to $400 million in DARPin development at Allergan. That places the total value of the new offer at around $166 per share plus the CVR.
Valeant's previously rejected offer for Allergan valued the company at $153 per share. According to Reuters, investors reportedly desired an offer between $180 to $200 per share. Investors should note that Allergan is reportedly trying to remain independent by either acquiring or merging with Shire.
Valeant has made some major acquisitions over the past few years, including eye care giant Bausch & Lomb for $8.7 billion, skin care company Medicis Pharmaceutical for $2.6 billion, and Precision Dermatology for $475 million.
Meanwhile, Valeant sold the commercial rights to several skin care products to Nestlé's newly formed Skin Health division for $1.4 billion in cash -- a somewhat unusual move considering that Valeant had spent so much money building up its dermatology portfolio over the past few years. Nestlé will notably gain the rights to Dysport, a Botox competitor Valeant acquired through the Medicis acquisition.
Nestlé has recently expanded into the health and medical industries to offset competitive pressures in its core food business.
GSK faces fresh fraud charges in the U.K.
Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline just announced that it was the target of a criminal probe led by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, which specializes in complex fraud and corruption cases. Shares of GSK are down more than 1% in pre-market trading.
GSK has recently struggled with a streak of problems in China, Poland, Jordan, and Lebanon. In China, GSK was accused of using travel agencies as fronts to bribe doctors with $500 million in kickbacks. In Poland, GSK is being probed by the government over corruption charges, and the company is investigating itself regarding allegations of employee misconduct in Jordan and Lebanon.
The U.K. Serious Fraud Office has not made an official announcement regarding the investigation yet. However, this recent development, along with past unresolved issues, will likely keep GSK's stock -- which has advanced less than 4% over the past 12 months -- under pressure.
CytRx climbs on positive mid-stage trial results for aldoxorubicin
Last but not least, CytRx is up more than 10% in pre-market trading this morning, after it reported that aldoxorubicin, its lead drug candidate for soft tissue sarcoma (STS), significantly increased progression-free survival (PFS) at six months, overall response rate (ORR), and tumor shrinkage when compared to doxorubicin during a mid-stage trial:
Those positive results bode well for aldoxorubicin, which also appears to lack the cardiotoxicity qualities of doxorubicin. The drug is currently in phase 3 trials as a second-line treatment for STS and phase 2 trials as a first-line treatment for the same indication. It is also being tested as a potential treatment for brain cancer, lung cancer, and other indications.
Analysts at Edison Equity Research believe that the drug could be approved in 2016 and eventually generate peak sales of $340 million. CytRx has no marketed products.