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Biotech Stock Heats Up On $11 Billion Rumor; So, Who’s The Buyer?

Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) is in advanced talks to be acquired for $11 billion, according to various reports that sent the biotech stock higher on Monday.




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The rumored deal would value the biotech stock at $180 per share. In morning trading on today’s stock market, Acceleron stock popped 6% near 177.70.

Acceleron makes Reblozyl, which treats a cancerous condition and a blood disorder. It’s also testing a drug called sotatercept in a lung condition called pulmonary arterial hypertension, or PAH. Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY) is partnering on another drug called luspatercept in several blood diseases.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Kennen MacKay says other PAH players — Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Pfizer (PFE), United Therapeutics (UTHR), Gilead Sciences (GILD), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Bayer (BAYRY) — could be buyers. Bristol Myers is another possibility as it already owns 11.5% of the biotech stock.

“Should a deal materialize, we see low likelihood of any (Federal Trade Commission)/antitrust issue preventing a deal close given the unique mechanism of action of both luspatercept and sotatercept,” he said in a report to clients.

Biotech Stock Surges On Rumored Deal

Shares of Acceleron have rocketed this month. The biotech stock has climbed nearly a third since the beginning of September. According to Bloomberg, which first reported the potential takeover, the rumored deal price would be a 40% premium to the biotech stock’s closing price 10 days ago.

Acceleron representatives didn’t immediately return an Investor’s Business Daily request for comment.

Acceleron stock broke out of a consolidation with a buy point at 146.25 on Sept. 21. The move occurred in high volume. MarketSmith.com shows the biotech stock is now in a profit-taking zone, 20%-25% above its buy point.

The biotech stock also has a strong Relative Strength Rating of 88 out of a best-possible 99. This puts Acceleron stock in the leading 11% of all stocks in terms of 12-month performance, IBD Digital research shows.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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