Biotech Acquisitions on the Rise in 2017: Latest Reports on Antares Pharma and ACADIA Pharmaceuticals

January 31st, 2017 – Biotech acquisitions deals are expected to see a substantial jump in 2017 as large pharmaceutical companies look to boost slowing revenues. Already in January we have seen a number of deals announced: Takeda Pharmaceutical’s acquisition of Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly’s acquisition of CoLucid Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Valeant Pharmaceuticals decision to sell Dendreon Pharmaceuticals. Approximately 43 percent of biopharma executives have said that they had five or more potential deals in progress, which is substantially more than the 6 percent seen last April, according to a poll conducted by Ernst & Young mid-October last year.

“2017 is likely to push biopharma deal making to new heights,” commented Ernst & Young’s Andrew Forman, in a research note titled M&A Outlook and Firepower Report 2017.

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“Large drug companies have been making money doing things that are artificial and unsustainable. Like price increases, inversions and financial engineering,” says Brad Loncar, a cancer-company expert at Loncar Investments. “Because those things are coming to an end and the environment for the pharma industry is becoming much more challenging, companies are having a real problem posting revenue growth,” says Loncar. “The only way they can get revenue growth is to buy it.”

Antares Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:ATRS)

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Antares Pharma’s shares spiked 13.40 percent to close at $2.20 a share Monday. The stock traded between $1.87 and $2.22 on volume of 2.55 million shares traded. Antares Pharma focuses on developing and commercializing self-administered parenteral pharmaceutical products and technologies. On December 21st, the company announced that it had submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for QuickShot Testosterone (QST).

“The submission of the QST New Drug Application represents yet another significant accomplishment for the Company in 2016.  It is the first product designed for subcutaneous delivery of testosterone through a fine gauge needle in patients diagnosed with hypogonadism,” said Robert F. Apple, President and Chief Executive Officer.  “We believe QST could be an excellent treatment option for men with hypogonadism.”

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ACAD)

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ACADIA Pharmaceuticals’ shares increased 2.10 percent to close at $32.60 a share Monday. The stock traded between $31.43 and $32.67 on volume of 1.75 million shares traded.  ACADIA’s NUPLAZID (pimavanserin) is the first and only medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis.

On December 20th, the company reported positive top-line results from its Phase II exploratory study (-019 Study) of pimavanserin in patients with Alzheimer’s disease psychosis (AD Psychosis). In this Phase II exploratory study, pimavanserin met the primary endpoint showing a statistically significant reduction in psychosis versus placebo as measured by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Nursing Home (NPI-NH) Psychosis score at week 6 of dosing (p=0.0451).

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Disclaimer: This article is written by an independent contributor of and reviewed by Hemal K. Gandhi, a CFA® charter holder. is neither a registered broker dealer nor a registered investment advisor. For more information please read our full disclaimer at


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