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    投資理財

    艾伯維斥資630億美元收購艾爾建,道出了醫藥行業的哪些現實?

    Sy Mukherjee 2019年07月01日

    艾伯維和艾爾建的交易不單單是一次醫療行業的兼并。

    艾伯維(Abbvie)在6月23日宣布,將以630億美元的估值收購艾爾建(Allergan)。相比艾爾建最新的收盤價,這份出價有45%的溢價。此次收購將成為今年醫療行業內最大規模的兼并之一,新公司將坐擁艾伯維的全球藥品銷量冠軍修美樂(Humira)與艾爾建的旗艦美容保養藥品保妥適(Botox)

    投資者反應各異。艾爾建的股民歡欣鼓舞,股價在6月23日早盤漲幅超過26%。而艾伯維的股價卻下跌了15%以上。

    不過,艾伯維和艾爾建的交易不單單是一次醫療行業的兼并——它關乎那些匆忙在收入流中尋找未來增長點的傳統大型生物制藥公司的創新態勢。過去幾年里,兩家公司的市值都在縮水。艾伯維被投資者質疑無法彌補治療牛皮癬和關節炎的明星藥品修美樂的銷量下滑(這款藥物光2018年就產生了近200億美元的收入),而艾爾建的產品線表現掙扎,被投資者要求拆分。

    艾伯維的首席執行官理查德·A·岡薩雷斯稱此次交易“充滿變革意義”。

    他在聲明中表示:“對兩家公司而言,這是一次充滿變革意義的交易,能夠實現獨特而互補的戰略目標。這一戰略讓我們得以在拓寬艾伯維業務范圍的同時繼續專注于創新科技,并讓我們行業領先的產品線優勢延續到未來。”

    如果交易達成,艾爾建的首席執行官布倫特·桑德斯將進入艾伯維的董事會,而岡薩雷斯將繼續擔任合并后新公司的董事長和首席執行官。盡管桑德斯享有交易能手的聲譽,善于補強收購,但最近加入的醫藥產品線卻沒有帶來什么業績增長。

    對艾伯維而言,收購的理由很明確——擴大產品類別,在修美樂的美國專利權于2023年到期之前保持盈利。去年,艾伯維的幾款被寄予厚望的試驗性藥物都遭遇了一些麻煩,修美樂也在歐洲等市場面臨著日益激烈的競爭。

    換句話說,按照Raymond James公司的分析師艾利奧特·威爾伯在研究紀要中的說法:“艾伯維近期還有增長,但卻面臨著懸崖,或更像是峽谷。從2023年中期起,修美樂在美國的市場份額將會被類似的生物仿制藥侵占,而艾爾建盡管增長乏力,短期內卻不會有關鍵的專利權損失。”

    威爾伯繼續指出,艾伯維的預期角色是“關鍵研發決策者”,這可以帶來幾大優勢,包括“加速對保妥適療法的投資,改善艾爾建管理層過去羸弱的產品線決策能力。”

    修美樂和保妥適就是對應公司產品中的核心元素,兩家公司使勁渾身解數維護它們的專利,阻止任何潛在對手進入市場。岡薩雷斯很快就指出,保妥適不會遭遇競爭,就是這筆交易的根本原因之一。

    6月23日,他在談到艾爾建努力保護產品時表示:“我們在很長一段時間里基本不會看到保妥適的生物仿制藥,可能永遠也不會看到。”

    隨著2018年傳統醫藥巨頭在新產品研發上的投資回報率跌落到十年來的最低水平,它們近年來開始訴諸并購和專利保護。最近的趨勢之一就是重點關注高價位的針對性療法,依托醫藥價格的上漲,并從實力不濟的生物技術公司那里進行補強收購或引進授權產品。艾伯維和艾爾建的并購可能提供了一次價值630億美元的案例研究,向我們展現出大型醫藥廠商在如何努力應對創新缺口的現實。(財富中文網)

    譯者:嚴匡正

    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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