Migraine Drug Developer Biohaven Is Said to Explore Sale

(Bloomberg) -- Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co., a developer of migraine treatments, is exploring options including a possible sale of the company after attracting interest from potential bidders, according to people familiar with the matter.

The drugmaker, which is working with a financial adviser, is in the early stages of considering a sale or partnerships and the talks may not lead to a deal, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public.

Biohaven shares rose 12 percent to $54.39 at 11:34 a.m. in New York. The company’s shares have almost doubled in the last year as of Thursday’s close, giving it a market valuation of $2.17 billion.

A representative for Biohaven declined to comment.

Analysts have pointed to Biohaven as a target for potential partnerships or deals. The company is gearing up to launch a migraine product, which is under consideration for approval at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The migraine market has gotten a boost as drugmakers like Amgen Inc., Eli Lilly & Co. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. have introduced new products in recent years.

Biohaven’s experimental drug acts on the same target as some of those companies’ new drugs. Its treatments are designed to both prevent and treat acute migraines.

Biohaven is also doing research in Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation and neurodegeneration. The company may be attractive to buyers in part because it’s one of the few still focused on this line of research.

Some Large drugmakers are exiting neuroscience research projects after a series of high-profile failures. Last month, Biogen Inc. announced a late-stage study of its main Alzheimer’s drug was unlikely to succeed, losing as much as $18 billion in market value in one day.

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