As nice as it is to rail against PDL BioPharma's
Since acquiring some marketed drugs and development-stage compounds from ESP Pharma in 2005, PDL BioPharma has experienced a string of setbacks, culminating with the failed development of lead drug Nuvion last year and the subsequent resignation of its CEO.
After Nuvion failed, PDL BioPharma announced that it would divest its marketed drugs, and yesterday it completed the sale of its remaining ESP Pharma assets to privately held EKR Therapeutics. In a twist of irony, the same people who ran ESP Pharma when it was sold to PDL BioPharma now lead EKR Therapeutics.
EKR is paying $85 million in up-front cash, as well as another likely $25 million in development milestones for PDL BioPharma's cardiovascular drugs. This is a far cry from the $500 million that PDL BioPharma paid to acquire ESP Pharma back in 2005, but the company already received $200 million from Otsuka Pharmaceuticals in December for one of the drugs it had acquired in the ESP Pharma deal.
Summing it all up, PDL BioPharma looks to be getting about $310 million in nearly guaranteed cash for the former ESP assets. It'll also receive a royalty on sales of one marketed ESP drug and for potential sales milestones. This isn't a bad deal at all, considering that I had figured "in the range of $300 million for the ESP assets" when I broke down what PDL BioPharma was worth last year.
Shares of PDL BioPharma have fallen precipitously in the past two months to almost 50% below what I think its fair value is, with no adverse changes in its outlook. Despite the fall in shares, things are looking brighter than a compact fluorescent bulb for PDL BioPharma now that management has shown it won't break up the company at fire-sale prices.
All of the royalty-producing drugs for PDL BioPharma, developed by other companies but based on its patent for humanized monoclonal antibodies, are growing nicely -- as seen with Genentech's
Other royalty-producing drugs that just came to market, like Elan's