Why AMRN and SGYP Could Trade Higher On AstraZeneca’s Newly Announced CEO

Amarin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AMRN) could trade higher as investors digest this morning’s news that Roche’s (OTC:RHHBY) former Head of Global Pharmaceuticals has joined AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) as CEO. Investors expect AMRN to be acquired for its recently approved triglyceride-lowering therapy, Vascepa, and the most logical suitor is AZN. This is primarily because AZN markets its blockbuster cholesterol-lowering agent, Crestor, offering significant cost savings if it can sell Vascepa and Crestor together through the same sales force. AZN’s new CEO, Pascal Soriot, stated that he is charged with growing the European pharma company via innovation and acquisition, and with Crestor patent-protected through late 2016, leveraging the company’s investment in major cardiovascular markets makes sense.  All eyes remain on upcoming news on whether or not Vascepa will receive NCE status from the FDA (see our article last week). Nevertheless, with an average price target by Wall Street analysts of $25, AMRN could have a nice bounce today on the AZN news. (more…)