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投资理财

艾伯维斥资630亿美元收购艾尔建,道出了医药行业的哪些现实?

Sy Mukherjee 2019年07月01日

艾伯维和艾尔建的交易不单单是一次医疗行业的兼并。

艾伯维(Abbvie)在6月23日宣布,将以630亿美元的估值收购艾尔建(Allergan)。相比艾尔建最新的收盘价,这份出价有45%的溢价。此次收购将成为今年医疗行业内最大规模的兼并之一,新公司将坐拥艾伯维的全球药品销量冠军修美乐(Humira)与艾尔建的旗舰美容保养药品保妥适(Botox)

投资者反应各异。艾尔建的股民欢欣鼓舞,股价在6月23日早盘涨幅超过26%。而艾伯维的股价却下跌了15%以上。

不过,艾伯维和艾尔建的交易不单单是一次医疗行业的兼并——它关乎那些匆忙在收入流中寻找未来增长点的传统大型生物制药公司的创新态势。过去几年里,两家公司的市值都在缩水。艾伯维被投资者质疑无法弥补治疗牛皮癣和关节炎的明星药品修美乐的销量下滑(这款药物光2018年就产生了近200亿美元的收入),而艾尔建的产品线表现挣扎,被投资者要求拆分。

艾伯维的首席执行官理查德·A·冈萨雷斯称此次交易“充满变革意义”。

他在声明中表示:“对两家公司而言,这是一次充满变革意义的交易,能够实现独特而互补的战略目标。这一战略让我们得以在拓宽艾伯维业务范围的同时继续专注于创新科技,并让我们行业领先的产品线优势延续到未来。”

如果交易达成,艾尔建的首席执行官布伦特·桑德斯将进入艾伯维的董事会,而冈萨雷斯将继续担任合并后新公司的董事长和首席执行官。尽管桑德斯享有交易能手的声誉,善于补强收购,但最近加入的医药产品线却没有带来什么业绩增长。

对艾伯维而言,收购的理由很明确——扩大产品类别,在修美乐的美国专利权于2023年到期之前保持盈利。去年,艾伯维的几款被寄予厚望的试验性药物都遭遇了一些麻烦,修美乐也在欧洲等市场面临着日益激烈的竞争。

换句话说,按照Raymond James公司的分析师艾利奥特·威尔伯在研究纪要中的说法:“艾伯维近期还有增长,但却面临着悬崖,或更像是峡谷。从2023年中期起,修美乐在美国的市场份额将会被类似的生物仿制药侵占,而艾尔建尽管增长乏力,短期内却不会有关键的专利权损失。”

威尔伯继续指出,艾伯维的预期角色是“关键研发决策者”,这可以带来几大优势,包括“加速对保妥适疗法的投资,改善艾尔建管理层过去羸弱的产品线决策能力。”

修美乐和保妥适就是对应公司产品中的核心元素,两家公司使劲浑身解数维护它们的专利,阻止任何潜在对手进入市场。冈萨雷斯很快就指出,保妥适不会遭遇竞争,就是这笔交易的根本原因之一。

6月23日,他在谈到艾尔建努力保护产品时表示:“我们在很长一段时间里基本不会看到保妥适的生物仿制药,可能永远也不会看到。”

随着2018年传统医药巨头在新产品研发上的投资回报率跌落到十年来的最低水平,它们近年来开始诉诸并购和专利保护。最近的趋势之一就是重点关注高价位的针对性疗法,依托医药价格的上涨,并从实力不济的生物技术公司那里进行补强收购或引进授权产品。艾伯维和艾尔建的并购可能提供了一次价值630亿美元的案例研究,向我们展现出大型医药厂商在如何努力应对创新缺口的现实。(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

AbbVie announced on June 23 that it will buy Allergan in a deal valued at about $63 billion, a 45% premium on Allergan’s most recent closing stock price. The proposed M&A will be one of the largest health care mergers of the year and bring together a portfolio that includes AbbVie’s Humira, the world’s best-selling drug, and Allergan’s flagship beauty treatment Botox.

The reaction from investors was mixed. Allergan shareholders rejoiced as shares shot up more than 26% in early June 23 trading. AbbVie stock, for its part, was down more than 15%.

But the AbbVie Allergan deal isn’t just a story about health care consolidation – it’s one about the state of innovation among big, legacy biopharma companies scurrying to find ways to plug future holes in their revenue streams. Both companies have bled market value in the past year as investors questioned whether AbbVie can make up for falling sales of its blockbuster psoriasis and arthritis treatment Humira, which rang in nearly $20 billion in 2018 revenues alone, and pushed for a breakup of Allergan amid pipeline struggles.

AbbVie CEO Richard A. Gonzalez heralded the deal as “transformative.”

“This is a transformational transaction for both companies and achieves unique and complementary strategic objectives,” he said in a statement. “[T]his strategy allows us to diversify AbbVie’s business while sustaining our focus on innovative science and the advancement of our industry-leading pipeline well into the future.”

Allergan chief Brent Saunders will join AbbVie’s board if and when the deal closes while Gonzalez will remain chairman and CEO of the combined company. While Saunders has a reputation as a prolific deal maker who chases bolt-on acquisitions, growth from recent drug pipeline additions has been hard to come by.

For AbbVie, the rationale for the acquisition is clear – expand the portfolio and preserve the bottom line ahead of Humira’s patent expiration in the U.S. in 2023. Several of AbbVie’s experimental drug hopefuls have hit hitches in the past year, and Humira has already faced increased competition in markets like Europe.

Put another way: “AbbVie has near-term growth but faces a cliff, or more like a canyon, problem with the loss of Humira to [generic] biosimilars in the U.S. beginning mid-2023 while Allergan… has struggled to generate growth but doesn’t face any key near-term exclusivity loss,” wrote Raymond James analyst Elliot Wilbur in a research note.

Wilbur went on to state that AbbVie’s expected role as “the key R&D decision maker” could present several advantages, including “accelerated investment behind Botox therapeutics as well as simply better pipeline decision making than what Allergan management has demonstrated in the past.”

Humira and Botox are such quintessential elements of their respective companies’ portfolios that the firms have done everything possible to safeguard their patents and ward off potential rivals from entering the market. And Gonzalez was quick to note Botox’s immunity from competition as a rationale for the deal.

“It’s very unlikely we’ll see a Botox biosimilar for a long, long time, if ever,” he said on June 23 of Allergan’s efforts to protect the product.

Legacy pharmaceutical giants have resorted to deal-making and preserving patents in recent years as their return on investment in new R&D plummeted to 10-year lows in 2018. One recent trend has been a focus on niche therapies with high price points and a reliance on list price hikes, alongside bolt-on acquisitions and in-licensing products from leaner biotechs. The AbbVie Allergan acquisition may prove a $63 billion case study in how some large drug makers are grappling with the reality of an innovation gap.

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