But, But, But, I Thought You Were for Sale?


Earlier this month, BioSante Pharmaceuticals' (NAS: BPAX) Chief Executive Officer Stephen Simes told Bloomberg there were "many, many companies" interested in the BioSante's female libido drug, LibiGel. The way the article read, it sounded like a licensing deal worth $100 million upfront or that possibly a complete takeout was imminent.

I guess not.

BioSante announced today that it is raising $45 million by selling 16 million shares at $3.00 a pop. That's a 17% increase in the share count at a 3% discount to yesterday's closing price, which certainly doesn't look like tide-us-over-until-we-get-a-deal-done money to me.

What have we learned from this? Sticking a for-sale sign on the front lawn isn't enough to find a buyer. It didn't work for Biogen Idec (NAS: BIIB) a few years ago. Forest Labs (NYS: FRX) boughtClinical Data but for less than the company was worth the day before. At least management didn't go that route.

As I said previously, companies that sell erectile dysfunction drugs -- Pfizer (NYS: PFE) , Eli Lilly (NYS: LLY) , Bayer, and GlaxoSmithKline (NYS: GSK) -- are all potential licensors of LibiGel. But given the history of failures for female libido drugs, it would be risky for them to buy in before the safety and efficacy are confirmed.

We also learned that BioSante isn't the best market timer. Raising capital earlier this month when shares briefly touched $4.00 per share would have been a lot less costly for investors. Maybe "many, many" deals were in the works then and they all fell through. Or maybe management was hoping shares would go higher.

Welcome to the club.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorBrian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of GlaxoSmithKline. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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