Betting on the same horse twice?

Betting on the same horse twice?

Now that Pfizer Allergan deal is dead rumors are swirling that Pfizer will once again pursue …wait for it… AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN). And talk about the irony of timing these rumors are circulating as the AZN diabetes franchise seems to be imploding. Just in case anyone has forgotten since the last time Pfizer went after and was rejected by Astra, it was this franchise that Astra CEO Pascal Soriot said would be a growth driver and one of the reasons Astra was rejecting Pfizer’s offer.

Now we’re not sure what it is with French companies or companies run by a French CEO but when it comes to diabetes the results have been less than impressive. Of course our wine drinking friends in France are the posterchild for how to turn gold into sand. Yet, given the way Pascal has been going he’s proving that a company does not have to be based in France and only run by a Frenchmen to screw up a promising diabetes franchise.

Just as Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) did everything in their power to kill the goose that laid the golden eggs, Lantus. Astra is doing their level best to run Bydureon into the ground. They took forever to get the Bydureon pen delivery system onto to the market. Allowing Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) to get their long acting once weekly GLP-1’s onto the market which just by luck came with patient friendly pen delivery systems.

Their DPP4 Onglyza as noted earlier today is in trouble and their SGLT2 Fraxiga is well behind Invokana and Jardiance.

As we noted in the past without any insulin’s, short or long acting, in their portfolio it is difficult if not impossible for them to compete effectively with either Lilly or Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO). And did we mention that Novo also has a long acting once weekly GLP-1 coming to market. That Novo is known for their sleek delivery devices. That Novo will fight like hell to get market share. Oh one last Novo is also developing an ORAL GLP-1, take that Pascal.

Since we are found of giving free advice to French companies, let’s extend that to companies run by French CEO’s – listen up Pascal – should Pfizer come a calling, should they want to bet on the same horse twice, thank your lucky stars that they could be so stupid and accept whatever offer they come up with. Rarely are people given second chances in life and it’s even rarer when they get to do this and walk away with millions. Prove that only companies based in France are inept, that companies run by a Frenchmen are damn lucky.

Just as Januvia has been the luckiest drug in diabetes, Bydureon is the most unlikely. First Lilly and Amylin screwed it up. Next Lilly and Amylin went through a nasty divorce only to be saved when Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) and their partner Astra came along to save the day. Then for reasons only known to Astra they bought out Bristol presumably so they could benefit from owning Bydureon outright. However, as Diabetic Investor noted this revolving door of owners only hurt Bydureon, a drug which could have owned the long acting GLP-1 market.

Are you listening Pascal?