Savient Pharmaceuticals shares plunge 51 percent after company fails to find buyer

Shares in Savient Pharmaceuticals fell as much as 51 percent Monday after the drugmaker announced that it had failed to find a suitable buyer for the company. Savient said that its board of directors will continue to "evaluate strategic alternatives" for the company.

The drugmaker started its search for a buyer after the FDA approved Krystexxa (pegloticase) for the treatment of chronic gout. According to two people familiar with the matter, both Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis were both interested in acquiring the company, but ultimately passed on the sale due to concerns about price.

Summer Street Research analyst Carol Werther said "I think the company has the potential to be bought after they have drug on the market for at least one year," adding that the company could afford to wait. "They will be able to raise money to launch the drug. They aren't in a very terrible situation." Cowen & Co analyst Eric Schmidt concurred, saying: "We do not view the lack of an M&A outcome as having strong implications for Krystexxa's commercial potential, which we continue to view as being in the $300 million range in the US and $600 million range worldwide."

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