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12:00 AM
 | 
Feb 11, 2008
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Sell high, buy low

PDL BioPharma Inc. may not have gotten what it wanted from its 2005 purchase of ESP Pharma Inc. for $610 million, but ESP's management has done more than well. Last week, ESP's founders came back around to buy some of the same products and one of its original candidates, now at bargain basement prices.

PDL bought ESP for its $90 million 2004 sales stream, which included Cardene IV nicardipine and Busulfex busulfan. The $500 million purchase price was $375 million in cash with the remainder in stock. PDL also paid another $110 million to the Centocor Inc. unit of Johnson & Johnson to buy Retavase reteplase, a deal started by ESP(see BioCentury, Aug. 29, 2005).

But investors, including activist Third Point, were dissatisfied with PDL's spending and slow pipeline progress in the face of the 2014 expiry for its antibody...

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