Shares of SGX Pharma (SGXP) soared after hours Tuesday on news of an all-cash $64 million buyout from Eli Lilly (LLY). The buyout represented a premium of more than 100% at $3 per share for SGX, which is being acquired for its drug discovery platform focused on oncology. The two companies have collaborated since 2003, and the deal is expected to close during the second half of the year.
Recently, several buyouts at 100%-plus premiums for micro-cap biotechs such as cancer drug developer Kosan Biosciences (KOSN) by Bristol-Myers (BMY) and Barrier Therapeutics by privately-held Stiefel Labs have taken place as larger pharmaceutical companies look for deals to bolster their pipeline and product portfolio. Also, shares of many small and micro-cap biotechs are trading at multi-year or all-time lows as risk-averse investors have avoided the entire group in response to bear market conditions in the overall market.