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Fusion Pharma climbs as analysts flag radiopharmaceutical company as potential merger target

By Steve Gelsi

Targeted-oncology specialist draws upgrade at Raymond James after big premium is paid for Rayze Bio

Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s stock was up by 5.3% in premarket trading on Wednesday, as analysts at two firms talked up its prospects as a takeover target.

Raymond James upgraded Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (FUSN) to strong buy on the heels of a 104% premium paid by Bristol Meyers Squibb Co. (BMY) for Rayze Bio Inc. (RYZB) in its $4.1 billion deal for the company.

This deal and others in the space show the value of specialists in radiopharmaceuticals, a rapidly growing area of cancer treatment that targets specific organs, tissues or cells within the human body.

Raymond James analysts said the the targeted-oncology market is on fire amid a flurry of acquisitions that, along with Rayze, include Pfizer Inc.'s (PFE) purchase of Seagen Inc., AbbVie Inc.'s (ABBV) acquisition of Immunogen Inc. (IMGN) and the collaboration between Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. (JP:4568) and Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK).

Meanwhile, Eli Lilly & Co.'s (LLY) $1.4 billion acquisition of Point Biopharma Global Inc. (PNT) closed on on Wednesday.

"Given that many pharma companies missed the ... boat over the last five years, they are beginning to see that being competitive in targeted oncology will require radiopharm programs in their portfolio," Raymond James analyst Rahul Sarugaser said.

Also on Wednesday, Oppenheimer analysts said Fusion Pharmaceuticals "is potentially the sole remaining clinical-stage, targeted radiopharm player with a robust supply chain."

Oppenheimer reiterated an outperform rating on Fusion Pharmaceuticals and said the company is the "last available target to serve as a foundation for a large-pharma to build a presence in targeted radiopharmaceuticals."

Also read: Karuna Therapeutics' stock hits record territory after Bristol Myers' $14 billion buyout deal

-Steve Gelsi

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12-27-23 0947ET

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