Facet Biotech spurns Biogen's buyout bid

US biotechnology firm Facet Biotech Corporation (Facet) yesterday rejected the takeover bid from Biogen Idec Inc. (Biogen), a global leader in innovative therapies, terming the offer as ''inadequate''.

The company's board said in a statement released yesterday that the unsolicited proposal from Biogen was reviewed with the assistance of financial and legal advisors, Centerview Partners LLC and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, respectively, and determined that the $14.50 per share proposal from Biogen is inadequate and not in the best interests of Facet's stockholders.

Last week, Massachusetts-based Biogen, the world's largest maker of medicines for multiple sclerosis–a central nervous system disease which affects coordination–offered $14.50 per share of Facet, which valued the company at $371 million.

Both the drug makers have been partners since 2005 in the development of Daclizumab for multiple sclerosis and Volociximab for tumors.

Facet president and CEO Faheem Hasnain said that the company has made significant progress since its spin-off from PDL Biopharma Inc. last year and its Daclizumab programme has great potential to improve the lives of many patients with multiple sclerosis.

Hasnain further stated, "In our collaboration with Biogen, one of the leaders in the field of multiple sclerosis, we knew there would be a high clinical hurdle for Biogen to take the drug forward into a phase 3 clinical trial. It does not appear to be a coincidence that Biogen made its acquisition proposal within weeks of our joint decision to begin a phase 3 trial following a planned interim futility analysis, and at a time when the significance of this positive development has not been fully appreciated by the investment community."