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A Recipe for Acquisition: the Esperion Strategy

Executive Summary

Though one key ingredient is luck, exit-by-M&A can be planned, as the Esperion-Pfizer transaction shows. Focusing on a single underappreciated pathway and eschewing discovery, Esperion put together, very inexpensively and very quickly, an in-licensed portfolio of related compounds. By doing so, Esperion minimized the chances it would find itself competing against an improved follow-on should it prove the value of its mechanism of action. Likewise, once it had reached some clinical proof of principle, its strategy positioned it either for a major multi-product deal or, even more likely, an acquisition-with Pfizer's $1.3 billion takeover the eventual outcome.

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