Tetraphase’s love quadrangle sees three bald men fight over a comb

Bidding wars are not uncommon in biotech, but it is certainly unusual for one to take place in full public view, as Tetraphase is experiencing. The latest chapter in the three-month to-and-fro played out today as La Jolla for the second time increased its cash plus contingent value right bid for the beleaguered antibiotic player. Unless this is called off Tetraphase is bound to an acquisition by Melinta, which has now had to sweeten its own cash/CVR offer three times. Tetraphase had initially agreed to be bought for stock plus a CVR by Acelrx, which was first outbid by La Jolla and then Melinta, and whose current indicative offer – raised twice – is now a mixture of cash, stock and a CVR, but stands below that of the two other suitors. Perhaps the biggest irony is that three of the companies have approved drugs that have disappointed: Tetraphase’s eravacycline, Acelrx’s opioid Dsuvia and La Jolla's Giapreza all face an uncertain market future. Melinta, meanwhile, underwent a value-destroying merger with Cempra and was taken private by Deerfield last year.

The unexpected battle to acquire Tetraphase
Date Development Up front CVR
16 Mar Tetraphase agrees to be acquired by Acelrx Stock only $12.5m
6 May Unsolicited approach from La Jolla $22.0m cash $12.5m
12 May Increased offer from La Jolla $22.3m cash $12.5m
14 May Unsolicited approach from Melinta $27.0m cash $12.5m
27 May Tetraphase agrees to increased offer from Acelrx $30.0m mix of cash & stock $14.5m
27 May Increased offer from Melinta $34.0m cash $16.0m
29 May  Tetraphase agrees to second increased offer from Acelrx $37.0m mix of cash & stock $16.0m
4 Jun Tetraphase agrees to second increased offer from Melinta $39.0m cash $16.0m
22 Jun Second increased offer from La Jolla $43.0m cash $16.0m

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