Booming sales of Botox spark market talk of Allergan takover
BOOMING sales of Botox, the anti-wrinkle treatmemt produced mainly in Westport, Co Mayo, have led analysts to predict a potential sale of drug maker Allergan.
Sales of Botox are forecast to climb 67 pc by 2017 to $3bn but the company's shares are trading at their cheapest level for four years.
Its stock price has fallen more than a quarter since peaking in April amid concerns that generic competition to its Restasis eye drops could hurt future sales.
The share price decline has prompted analysts to predict takeover offers from a variety of other drug manufacturers including MSD and Glaxo Smith Kline.
"If you're large pharma and you're looking for steady, growing franchises, Allergan has several of them," said analyst David Maris of BMO.
"You've had a series of disappointments, but I think the market has overreacted. Botox is the crown jewel, and I could see Allergan fitting well with a number of companies."
"Botox has a little bit of competition, but really it's the Scotch tape of toxins" he said.
Allergan produces Botox, a purified form of the poison botulinum, at a plant on the outskirts of Westport, Mayo, that employs more than 1,000 people. While most people think of Botox as a cosmetic drug, about half of its use is in neurology.
Glaxo, which also makes neurology drugs, was speculated to be pursuing a merger with Allergan in 2009. Allergan declined to comment.