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.
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.
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