With Vascepa having the potential to be next Lipitor in terms of lifetime sales, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come up with the simple and logical idea that Vascepa will probably be scooped up by Big Pharma (AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Merck, Abbott, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squib, etc). The billion dollar question is when and by who?
I think it will happen right within a couple weeks after the Vascepa’s NCE decision date August 17, 2012. I do not think the outcome of the NCE decision is important for a buyout to happen because big pharma will still buy Amarin because of its fortress patent portfolio (well…getting there fortress patent portfolio). With NCE and before a sNDA filing to include ANCHOR data in the label, my Amarin buyout price would be an easy $30+, and without NCE my prediction would be $25.
And which Big Pharma would buy Amarin? My top two picks would be either AstraZeneca or Pfizer. AstraZeneca would make a killing in the cardiovascular disease market with an even more powerful high triglyceride and cholesterol lowering treatment combo of Vascepa + Crestor statin drug. But Pfizer’s Lipitor is already off patent this year and they will need another huge drug to replenish Lipitor’s waning revenue stream cannibalized by generics. Amarin execs on the earnings conference call August 8th, 2012 said they are working on a Vascepa combo drug that works with statins which they plan on starting the clinical trial before the end of 2012. This makes it even more probable that whichever big pharma is involved with Vascepa’s combo statin drug trial, they will be the acquirer of Amarin.
An Amarin and Big Pharma partnership would also make sense but considering the HUGE potential of Vascepa, a buyout in my opinion is more likely.
Either way, good luck to all AMRN longs and may all of our wishes for a successful launch of Vascepa come true in 1Q2013!