- Pharma giant AstraZeneca is said to be considering making an offer for San Francisco, CA-based Medivation, The Sunday Times reports. Medivation last week reportedly rebuffed a bid by Sanofi.
- Medivation co-markets the prostate cancer drug Xtandi, which as seen rapid sales growth in the U.S. and elsewhere. The company splits revenues equally with Japanese drugmaker Astellas.
- The success of Xtandi has sparked interest from major drugmakers seeking to bolster their oncology portfolios. Earlier this month, Medivation hired advisors from JP Morgan to assist it in handling offers, although the sources told Reuters at the time the company had no immediate plans to sell.
AstraZeneca has only held internal talks to discuss a bid, and no formal offer has been made, according to the report from The Sunday Times.
But the interest from AstraZeneca and Sanofi speaks to the continued commercial promise of Medivation and Astellas' Xtandi. The prostate cancer drug pulled in $1.9 billion in worldwide sales last year, an increase of 80% from the year prior.
Medivation and Astellas split U.S. revenues equally and Medivation earns royalties in the low teens to low twenties on all sales outside the U.S.
Xtandi was first approved by the FDA in 2012 for late-stage, castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and Medivation is aiming to expand the drug's indication further. Along with evaluating Xtandi for wider treatment of prostate cancer, the company is working on a Phase 2 trial studying the drug against an advanced form of breast cancer.
But the company has come under fire for Xtandi's $129,000 per year price tag. Recently, 12 lawmakers, including presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT), asked the NIH to exercise its authority and override the drug's patent. The group wants the NIH to consider using its "march-in" rights, which would allow the agency to license a patented drug to another company.
Medivation also acquired worldwide rights to talazoparib from BioMarin late last year. It is currently evaluating that compound for the treatment of germline BRCA, a type of breast cancer, in phase 3 trials.
AstraZeneca has been active in M&A recently. The company bought a controlling stake in ZS Pharma for $2.7 billion last November to acquire ZS' hyperkalemia drug. A deal for Medivation would further diversify AstraZeneca's portfolio, helping to offset slower sales for its cholesterol drug Crestor.
AstraZeneca and Medivation did not return requests for comment by press time.