What: Shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treating diseases of the liver and intestines, jumped more than 27% as of 2:45 p.m. EST Friday after Reuters reported that the company might be looking to sell itself.
So what: According to "sources familiar with the matter" Intercept has been working with a group of investment bankers recently to "explore the prospect of a sale."
It should be emphasized that this is still a rumor at this point as Intercept declined to comment.
Now what: This isn't the first time that rumors have floated around that Intercept might be a buyout target as roughly a year ago another reported surfaced saying that the company could action itself off as it received interest from a handful of large pharma companies that including Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD).
If Friday's rumors do prove to be true, then Gilead Sciences might be an ideal acquirer for Intercept as it already has a strong position the liver disease markets, so Intercept could be an interesting strategic fit. It's also worth remembering that Gilead Sciences ended 2015 with $26.2 billion in cash, so it has plenty of capital to make an acquisition if it choose to. For comparison, even with today's pop Intercept's current market value is roughly $3 billion.
Regardless of whether this rumor turns out to be true or not Intercept investors should have an exciting year ahead. The FDA is currently reviewing its compound Obeticholic Acid as a treatment for primary biliary cholangitis and it has set a PDUFA date of May 29, 2016. In addition, the FDA will also be holding an advisory committee meeting of April 7, 2016, so shareholders should have a good idea about the drugs chances of approval in a few short months time.
Brian Feroldi owns shares of Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Gilead Sciences. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.