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Rapidly-growing Nektar Therapeutics reportedly considering sale of its business

Published on 05/02/18 at 02:22pm

After a slew of M&A deals throughout the first month of 2018, including Celgene’s buyout of Juno Therapeutics for $9 billion and Sanofi’s spending spree to acquire Bioverativ for $11.6 billion and Ablynx for $4.8 billion, many in the industry are asking who will be the next to make a deal. Whoever decides to splash the cash next, it could be to pick up Nektar Therapeutics, who is reported by Bloomberg to be looking into the sale of its business.

The San Francisco-based biotech company is valued at around $15 billion, which is a relatively high valuation and could deter potential suitors from a full takeover, alongside the risk attached to its pipeline which includes treatments in the experimental stage.

Though it currently has no products on the market, Nektar has drawn the interest of larger firms in recent times. The company has seen its shares triple since November on the back of positive data for its experimental cancer therapy NKTR-214 in combination with BMS’ Opdivo, while it also has an opioid in development which it touts as a safer, less addictive painkiller, which is of particular interest as the US continues its battle with opioid dependency and related death.  

Nektar is reportedly still weighing up its options, with confidential discussions ongoing and no final decisions having been made. The company also reportedly said that it would also be considering potential partnerships and licensing agreements instead.

Matt Fellows

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