Perrigo Boosted By FDA Warning On Sanofi SA Drug

Perrigo is acquiring Ireland’s Elan, a beneficiary of royalties from rival multiple sclerosis treatment, Tysabri.
 CEO Joseph C. Papa

CEO Joseph C. Papa

A safety warning by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that Lemtrada, a treatment for multiple sclerosis made by Sanofi SA (NYSE: SNY; Euronext: SAN) may cause cancer has boosted Perrigo Company(NYSE:PRGO; TASE:PRGO), which is acquiring Ireland’s Elan Corporation plc (NYSE; LSE; Dublin: ELN), a beneficiary of royalties from rival multiple sclerosis treatment, Tysabri. An FDA advisory panel will review Lemtrada on Wednesday, November 13, and a final decision whether to allow the sale of the drug in the US will be taken in December.
Lemtrada is already approved in Europe.

“In our opinion, this will have a greater impact on Perrigo than Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA), ” says Clal Finance analyst Jonathan Kreizman. “The characteristics of Lemtrada are similar to those of Tysabri, because both drugs target more severe cases than Copaxone. Lemtrada and Tysabri are more effective than Copaxone, but have lower safety profiles.”

Kreizman believes that Lemtrada’s chances of FDA approval have been weakened. “This is very good news for Perrigo, because it leaves Tysabri with few rivals in its segment. This reduces the risk profile of the Elan acquisition by Perrigo.”

In late July, Perrigo announced the acquisition of Elan for $8.6 billion. Elan’s main asset is income from Tysabri, which sold its rights to the drug to Biogen Idec Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) in exchange for 12% royalties on sales. Tysabri had $1.6 billion in sales in 2012.

Perrigo’s share price rose 3.8% on the TASE on Sunday, after a 2.5% gain on Nasdaq on Friday to $148.75, giving a market cap of $14 billion. The share price fell 0.4% by early afternoon on the TASE today.

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