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Sleep Easy Healthcare Investors; Receptos Inc (RCPT) Has Been Bought


Healthcare investors can sleep easy tonight with one of 2015’s major unanswered questions now off the table.

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) will buy Receptos Inc (NASDAQ:RCPT) for $7.2 billion, or $232 in cash, the companies said after the closing bell on Tuesday. Whether Receptos would partner its lead drug candidate ozanimod, or simply sell the company outright, has been on the minds of most large-cap biopharma investors all year.

The deal adds ozanimod, an oral S1P modulator being tested in a number of auto-immune indications, to Celgene’s growing pipeline. Just two weeks ago the biopharma company put up $1 billion to partner with Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) on its early cell therapies. Cleary, Celgene isn’t afraid to spend.

Ozanimod is already in large phase III trials for Multiple Sclerosis, and Receptos had planned to begin registration trials in Ulcerative Colitis later this year, as well as a phase II Crohn’s study. Analysts model peak sales of $5-6 billion for the drug, and just last month Wedbush Securities raised its Receptos price target to a street high of $348, citing the attractiveness of the late-stage asset.

Tuesday’s deal comes at a 12% premium to Receptos’ closing price, falling short of some investors’ expectations. Nevertheless, the stock is up almost 700% in the last year-and-a-half, from $30 at the beginning of 2014.

Celgene on Tuesday also revised higher their 2015 EPS guidance, from $4.60-$4.75 to $4.75-$4.85. The company lowered its GAAP EPS to $2.43-$2.71, from a previous range of $2.97-$3.19. Celgene also said it expects 2020 net product sales to exceed $21 billion, up from a previous target of $20 billion.

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