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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) May Make $4.8 Billion Bid for Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (HGSI): Source

10/19/2011 8:05:39 AM

By Bill Flook, Staff Reporter - Washington Business Journal

Two months ago, a slumping share price was all analysts needed to revive Human Genome Sciences Inc. .Human Genome Sciences Inc. Latest from The Business Journals Human Genome hits rough patch with BenlystaHuman Genome Sciences stock falls as Britain denies funding for BenlystaFDA tightens reins on biotech drug approval process Follow this company .buyout talk. On Tuesday, buyout talk was all Human Genome Sciences needed to revive its share price.

Shares of Rockville-based Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ: HGSI) rallied 13.96 percent Tuesday to close at $12.82 after the U.K.’s Daily Mail issued the latest in a long procession of takeover speculation for the Maryland biotech.

London-based GlaxoSmithKline PLC, which has partnered with Human Genome Sciences for its newly approved lupus drug Benlysta and is considered the most probable buyer, may be weighing a $25-per-share cash offer for its smaller partner, according to the British tabloid. That price would represent a generous 122 percent premium over the local company's closing price Monday of $11.25.

Human Genome Sciences has been on a downward spiral in recent months, despite winning Food and Drug Administration approval for the first new treatment for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in more than 50 years. Its stock hit a new 52-week low this month and had the bad fortune of being mentioned unfavorably on Jim Cramer’s Mad Money last week.

Benlysta, meanwhile, has shown some promising sales data but is chafing against the perception that it’s both expensive and only moderately effective, with U.K. regulators threatening not to pay for the drug.

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