SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

March 21, 2011 07:35 ET

Smaller Biotech Companies Remain Possible Takeover Targets

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on Ariad Pharmaceuticals & Exelixis

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 21, 2011) -  Merger and Acquisition activity in the healthcare sector has been on the upswing in recent quarters. Going forward larger healthcare firms are expected to continue searching for smaller, more speculative companies which are focusing on specific treatments and specialties in the medical sector. Recent reports suggest that not only is Big Pharma active in acquisitions, but also larger biotech firms are showing willingness to utilize their large resource pools to acquire smaller firms in a race to diversify and to build their reach. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Biotechnology Industry and provides research reports on Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA) and Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

A recent report from Deal Search Online claims that while the biotech sector saw a 40 percent drop in the number of M&A deals last year, the 115 deals in 2010 amounted to $57.5 billion, a 21 percent increase over 2009. The report suggests that the last decade saw an increase in the amount of biotech deals, led in part by pharmaceutical companies seeking new blockbuster drugs to fill the void left by drugs coming off patent.

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Last week shares of Ariad received a nice boost after the company said it will co-promote its experimental cancer drug, ridaforolimus, with partner Merck & Co in the US upon approval.

"The decision to co-promote ridaforolimus upon potential launch in 2012 is consistent with our plans to build a fully integrated commercial oncology company," Ariad CEO Harvey Berger said in a statement.

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