Reports in the pharmaceutical space indicate that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE:TEVA) might be planning to acquire South Korea biosimilar giant Celltrion. Talk of a possible takeover comes just days after the generic giant completed the acquisition of Canadian and US rights for the company’s two biosimilars. The two drugs in question are copies of Roche Holding Ltd.’s Rituxan and Herceptin.
Teva is aggressively looking for ways to bolster its portfolio of drugs with biosimilars having only struck one deal on this front to date. Since wrapping up the $40 billion takeover of Allergan generics business, the Israeli-based company has been aggressive in diversifying its portfolio of drugs with branded drug assets among other specialty assets.
A takeover of Celltrion by Teva would not come as a surprise given the wave of consolidation in the pharmaceutical space. Companies in the sector have sought to bolster their portfolio of drugs in the recent past by acquiring smaller companies with drugs in areas of immense growth opportunities such as oncology.
Teva Big Play
By acquiring Celltrion, Teva would be able to gain access to the company’s vast portfolio of biosimilars some of which have already gained regulatory approval. The company already boasts of an FDA-approved biosimilar to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)’s Remicade.
Fuelling speculation of a possible takeover is the fact that the company’s spokesperson has confirmed they are looking for new opportunities in South Korea.
“We will continue to investigate such opportunities as we balance risk and seek complementary skills in our partners,” he said.
This is not the first time that Teva has been linked to a takeover of the Korean company. In 2014, its name popped in addition to AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE:AZN) and Roche as a potential acquirer of a controlling stake in the company. The South Korean company, later on, scrapped plans to sell off a controlling stake after making progress on its biosimilar candidate Remsima, consequently forging a partnership with Pfizer for its sale.
Teva stock was a big disappointment in Monday’s trading session, having shed 2.72% in market value to open the week on a low of $41.79 a share, but rebounded to gain 3.49% in Tuesday’s session.