Investors eagerly await updates on the pipelines of
pharma/biotech companies. However, in the case of
), more than the pipeline updates investors will be interested in
the company's upcoming acquisition by Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
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We note that Santarus has been actively developing its pipeline
of late. Earlier this week, Santarus initiated a phase IIb study
(n=90) on its pipeline candidate, SAN-300. The multicenter,
multinational, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled,
multiple ascending dose study will be evaluating the safety and
tolerability of repeat subcutaneous (SC) doses of SAN-300 in
patients suffering from active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with
inadequate response to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
Additionally, Santarus will be evaluating the pharmacokinetics
and pharmacodynamics of the candidate in RA patients. The company
will also assess the preliminary efficacy and immunogenicity of
SAN-300 in these patients. However, competition is stiff in the
RA market given the presence of treatments like UCB's Cimzia and
) Humira, among others.
We remind investors that Santarus was in the news recently when
Salix announced its intention to acquire the prior. In Nov 2013,
the companies signed a definitive merger agreement under which
Salix will acquire all the outstanding common stock of Santarus
for $32.00 per share in cash (without interest). This represents
a 36% premium to Santarus' closing price on Nov 6. The deal,
valued at approximately $2.6 billion, is slated to close in the
first quarter of 2014. We expect investor focus to remain on the
Santarus, a biopharmaceutical company, carries a Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy). Some other stocks in the biopharmaceutical sector
that are worth considering include
Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.
). Both the stocks carry same rank as Santarus.