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Optimer $19 A Share Buyout Rumours Swell (NASDAQ:OPTR) (NASDAQ:CLDA)

 March 24, 2011 10:49 AM

Popularity in equities has never been higher than in 2011, with most analysts, including Hilary Kramer raving about the S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) namely due to $2 trillion dollars worth of cash lying around on the balance sheets of companies. This leads to mergers and acquisitions, along with consolidations which run up prices with the US treasury bond bubble which is deflating, leading to a flight to safety in equities. Despite Japan's unfortunate natural disaster, the rest of the world economy has really begun to firm up thus alleviating fear and paving the way for one of the strongest bull markets in history to commence.

Such was the case with AT&T's shocking buyout of T-Mobile (NYSE:T), a marriage that cost $39 billion dollars, helping boost markets and confidence around the world. And while this deal received front-page acclamation on just about every mainstream media outlet, smaller companies have been engaging in such activities as well, especially the biotech industry. During February, Clinical Data (NASDAQ:CLDA) won a surprising approval for its flagship product, viibryd,  the first antidepressant approved by the FDA in over 15 years, leading to Forest Labs (NYSE:FRX) sweeping in to buy the company for $1.2 billion. Forest's price reflects its interest in viibryd's claim that it is safer and triggers fewer sexual side effects than other SSRI drugs now on the market. The drug is being touted as the "first and only" antidepressant to combine an SSRI and a serotonin 1a receptor partial agonist in one molecule.

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This left many biotech bargain hunters looking for the next blockbuster buyout, which then leads to Optimer Pharmaceuticals. Much to the likes of Clinical Data's recently approved viibryd, Optimer's flagship product, fidaxomicin, has a higher safety profile, along with many other added benefits which could make it the first Clostridium defficile infection (CDI) treatment in more than 25 years. Currently, the infection only has two pharmacological options as treatments: metronidazole and oral vancomycin, both of which lack the ability to reduce recurrences, while improving global cure rates. This is where fidaxomicin comes in — it not only has a higher cure rate, but boasts a statistically significant reduction in recurrences and a substantially higher global cure rate. You may view the company CMO, Sherwood Gorbach discussing its advantages in a video here.

Fidaxomicin vs. Vancocin

  • Similarly high cure rates: The clinical cure rates between fidaxomicin and vancomycin were similar, with slightly better results from fidaxomicin.
  • Statistically Significant in Reducing Recurrences: fidaxomicin significantly reduced the risk of recurrence among CDI patients.
  • Substantial Improvement in Global Cure Rates: Compared to the current treatment, fidaxomicin demonstrated a statistically significant higher global cure rate, defined as curing the patient at the end
    of treatment without recurrence.

The following table outlines top-line data from two Phase 3 clinical trials of fidaxomicin that together enrolled 1,164 patients in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

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