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Actelion's top dollar deal leaves doubts, and little on the horizon

Date July 14, 2008

Actelion was probably hoping for a slightly more effusive reaction to its heavily trailed SFr3.3bn ($3.2bn) deal with GlaxoSmithKline for insomnia drug almorexant announced today, rather than the meagre 4% advance its share price notched up.

Despite the deal delivering exactly what the company was looking for, in terms of a primary care specialist partner, profits and cost sharing, and help setting up a GP-focused sales force, the market was clearly unimpressed. An upfront fee of just SFr150m was probably the first disappointment, considering almorexant is a phase III product addressing a huge market, and at the end of the day, the terms of the deal highlighted the risky nature of the product.

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