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New Look for British Biotech

Executive Summary

British Biotech's proposed merger with RiboTargets nets the company an entirely new discovery engine, but is only a first, small step in the downtrodden firm's transformation.

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Vernalis Gives Partnering a Second Chance

Vernalis has bought back rights to its Frova migraine treatment in North America from Elan, agreeing to pay $55 million over the next two years. Frova, sold there by Elan and UCB, had failed to reach even the most modest sales expectations. Now Vernalis plans to re-partner the drug, hoping a label-extension to menstrual-associated migraine lands it significantly better terms than its original 1998 deal with Elan. But Vernalis needs to raise money to complete the buyout, and the dynamics of the US migraine market suggest that until it can differentiate the drug on the basis of the MAM label, a huge primary care sales force would be necessary to gain a respectable share of the market.

A Rare Second Chance at Partnering Success for Vernalis' Underperforming Frova

Vernalis has bought back rights to its Frova migraine treatment in North America from Elan, agreeing to pay $55 million over the next two years. Frova, sold there by Elan and UCB, had failed to reach even the most modest sales expectations. Now Vernalis plans to re-partner the drug, hoping a label-extension to menstrual-associated migraine lands it significantly better terms than its original 1998 deal with Elan. But Vernalis needs to raise money to complete the buyout, and the dynamics of the US migraine market suggest that until it can differentiate the drug on the basis of the MAM label, a huge primary care sales force would be necessary to gain a respectable share of the market.

The Battle For OGS

Celltech's hostile bid for OGS may have scuppered the company's cosy merger plans with CAT. But OGS isn't giving in without a fight. And Celltech's offer may even prove beneficial to OGS shareholders, bumping up the firm's price-tag for CAT--or another suitor.

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