Amylin Shareholder Floats Idea of Selling Company

11/4/08Follow @xconomy

Activist shareholders are circling Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Eastbourne Capital, which owns a 12.5 percent stake in the San Diego-based biotech company, said on Monday that it is looking at ways to boost the stock price, including possibly selling the company, according to this Reuters report.

Much has been made about declining demand for exenatide (Byetta), the company’s top product for diabetes. Amylin (NASDAQ: AMLN) has seen its stock price plummet even worse than most biotechs this year, by some 68 percent. The selling was sparked partly by an FDA warning in August of six new cases of pancreatitis, including two deaths, among patients taking Byetta. The agency is currently considering an updated warning to the drug’s prescribing information. Amylin insists the drug’s benefits outweigh its risks, and it’s continuing to invest loads of cash in a once-weekly version of exenatide.

Eastbourne isn’t the only activist that sees opportunity in Amylin. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said in mid-September that he had raised his stake in Amylin to 7.3 percent. Officials at Amylin didn’t immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

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