SOURCE: Rothman Research

Rothman Research

April 21, 2010 08:43 ET

Drug Manufacturing Industry on an Explosive Journey

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - April 21, 2010) - - Needless to say that the drug manufacturing industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that is set to experience ongoing growth mid- to long-term. With this anticipated industry growth and increased competition in the drug market, the number of mergers and acquisitions would be on the rise as major players will strive to become more aggressive in their attempt to boost their market presence by increasing their product-line through new acquisitions. This trend is not new within the industry, but it is certainly on an uptrend. Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), one of the major players within the pharma industry, has been one busy bee in the M & A front with its strings of broad-based acquisitions. Many experts believe that this sudden interest in M & A was triggered by the fact that Humira, one of the company's star medications, will lose U.S. patent protection in the next 7 years.

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The major drug manufacturer, in an effort to broaden its product-line, went on a rampage by acquiring numerous small- to-midsize companies, thus helping the company to steer away from its over-dependence on its performing products. Abbott will be releasing its first quarter results today pre-market and analysts believe that the company will deliver positive figures supported by sales of Humira and the company's cost cutting efforts. "There will be a lot of attention on Humira sales performance for this quarter, however, there are also growing concerns about Abbott's U.S. pharmaceutical business which has already recorded a sales decline of more than 8.5% in its last reported quarterly readings. Another key factor that the street and industry professionals will be focused on in the mid-term is the impact of the new healthcare law on companies like Abbott," commented Mathew collier of

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Another driving force for the industry's growth potential is the increasing R & D investments in markets where demand is extremely high like cancer. Companies like Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: KERX) is already making great strides in this field of research. The company was recently given a Fast Track designation from the FDA for development of Perifosine in advanced colorectal cancer, which is the third most widespread form of cancer identified in the U.S. Competition in the colorectal cancer market space is huge, but demand remains high.

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Keryx is expected to release its earnings reading on May 10th and there is already a lot a buzz that the company's share price could be heading for a double by next year.

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