- Drugmaker also has attracted interest from other companies
- No agreement has been reached, firms could decide against deal
Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. jumped in early trading Thursday after Retrophin Inc., the pharmaceutical company founded by controversial entrepreneur Martin Shkreli, was said to be considering an acquisition of the company.
Retrophin is considering the deal to boost growth in treatments for rare diseases, according to people familiar with the matter. Raptor shares rose 12 percent to $7.72 at 9:34 a.m., after earlier rising as much as 16 percent for their biggest gain since April. Retrophin fell less than 1 percent to $17.16.
No final agreement has been reached and the companies could decide against a deal, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Raptor, which has a market value of about $589 million, has also attracted interest from other drugmakers, the people said.
Representatives for San Diego-based Retrophin and Novato, California-based Raptor declined to comment.
Shkreli left Retrophin in 2014 and is no longer associated with the company. Since then, Retrophin added new managers and raised about $149.5 million in proceeds from a share sale last year to fund research and acquisitions. Retrophin focuses on developing drugs for “catastrophic” diseases that have few treatment options, such as kidney and neurological disorders. It has a market value of about $633 million.
Raptor’s pipeline projects include treatments for Huntington’s Disease and cystic fibrosis, according to its website. In April, Reuters reported that Raptor was seeking a bank for a possible sale.
Shkreli was arrested in December and accused of defrauding investors in hedge funds he ran and of using $11 million of Retrophin assets to pay them off. Shkreli has pleaded not guilty to the charges.