developer of hepatitis C treatments that was passed over by
potential acquirers in the last year, is poised to draw renewed
interest after setbacks by rival drugmakers.
With the market for new hepatitis C treatments projected to
reach $20 billion by 2020 and Achillion facing no delays in two
drugs under development, Piper Jaffray Cos. and William Blair &
Co. say the $481 million company could gain fresh attention as a
takeover candidate for Merck & Co. (MRK), Roche (ROG) Holding AG and Vertex
Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) A suitor could pay a premium of as much as
79 percent to Achillion’s stock price and still acquire the New
Haven, Connecticut-based company for less than its peak market
value earlier this year, when takeovers and merger speculation
spurred a surge in hepatitis C drugmakers’ shares.