M&A Fever Continues to Propel Biotech ETF’s Recovery

biotech-dnaThe iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (NASDAQ:IBB) currently sits about 27% off its all-time highs hit in mid-2015, but the space is heating up again thanks to some big M&A deal rumors.

The latest potential acquisition in the space involves disease therapy specialist Medivation Inc (NASDAQ:MDVN), which is now rumored to be attracting takeover interest from at least five big pharma companies.

According to a Reuters report, the suitors now include:

  • Merck ($175B market cap),
  • Sanofi ($101B market cap),
  • Pfizer ($214B market cap),
  • Celgene ($87B market cap), and
  • and Gilead Sciences ($109B market cap).

Merck was the newest addition to the list, said the source, who couldn’t provide more details because the discussion process is ongoing. The source indicated Medivation is also interested in speaking to even more possible buyers in what’s turning into an auction for the cancer drug maker. As expected, Medivation declined to comment. MDVN shares have risen 38.5% this year.

Fellow biotech name Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) is also attracting big takeover interest, and the fetching price could be huge.

These and other M&A deals are greatly helping the Biotech ETF in its ongoing recovery from multiyear lows set earlier this year. The IBB was up $1.41 (+0.48%) to $292.31 in morning trading Thursday, and has pared its year-to-date losses down to -13.5%.


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