ALLISON GATLIN - 1/20/2017 .
Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) had to ignore requests for information from a potential suitor in order to lock in its offer from Japan's Takeda Pharmaceuticals, which pushed for a Jan. 9 agreement date, according to a late-Thursday SEC filing by Ariad.
Ariad stock rocketed nearly 73% on Jan. 9 when the company announced it had reached an agreement to be acquired, an announcement timed to coincide with the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, one of the industry's big events of the year. Ariad shares rose a fraction to 23.75 on the stock market today, near the Takeda takeover price of $24 a share, or $5.2 billion.
Wall Street had suspected that Ariad was the subject of a bidding war, RBC analyst Michael Yee said in a research note, after Ariad filed the details of its acquisition with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. As it turns out, Takeda "moved quickly and aggressively" and was the only formal bidder, Yee wrote in his research note.
IBD'S TAKE: Ariad isn't alone with its interesting oncology pipeline. Incyte is now facing limited competition in its Jakafi enterprise after Gilead Sciences' rival drug failed in a late-stage trial in November. Head to The New America for more on Incyte's drivers in 2017.
Ariad, after fielding an initial offer from Takeda, had reached out to three other potential suitors who had expressed interest in partnering on its cancer drug brigatinib. Brigatinib is being tested as a treatment for anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive (ALK+) patients with non-small cell lung cancer.