Healthcare Biz Recap: GlaxoSmithKline BUYS Drugs, Sanofi Gains Traction

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) arranges to initially pay £146 million, or $227 million, for the eczema drug Toctino from the Swiss biotech Basilea (BPMUF.PK), and also agrees to pay an additional £50 million when the med passes its Phase III trial and receives FDA approval, and, if royalties on U.S. sales begin three years after launch. Somewhat separately, a report in The Telegraph regarding a possible GSK takeover of Biomarin (NASDAQ:BMRN), is called “gossip” by Baird. Even though the article suggested that the firams were in ‘advanced’ discussions, the analyst points out that many pertinent details were missing, and that such a deal would occur prior to “transformational data readouts” from clinical studies, which are expected by the end of 2012. The timing is all wrong, opines Baird.

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Shares of Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) gain traction, as Genzyme sends its Lemtrada drug both to the FDA and to European Commission regulators for approval as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, following positive Phase III results seen earlier in this year. Already, Lemtrada, under the name Campath, is used in the treatment of leukemia.

Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HALO) shares climb, following word that results from a Phase 2 study of rHuPH20, a prandial insulin, met its primary endpoint for blood sugar measurement in patients with Type 1 diabetes. In addition, study data showed that the med reduced postprandial glycemic excursions, and significantly reduced hypoglycemic events.

Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA) and Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) both pop Tuesday, subsequent to a press release by Five Star Equities that featured their weight loss drugs, remarking that they may be the first in what should be a lucrative market.

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