After the closing bell Monday, Genzyme and Isis Pharmaceuticals announced a blockbuster deal that set the overcrowded halls abuzz here at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference.
They're partnering on an Isis drug in late-stage development for cholesterol. It's a once-a-week injectable for people who don't get their cholesterol low enough taking a statin like Lipitor, Crestor or Zocor. And it's for patients who have a family history of high cholesterol.
What makes the deal such an attention-grabber are the dollars: $325 million up front, more than $1.5 billion in potential milestone payments and then a profit split if the drug wins FDA approval.
Isis Chairman & CEO Dr. Stanley Crooke told me 10 companies wanted the drug, but that the company chose GENZ even though it wasn't the highest and best. You can watch my interview with him on yesterday's "Closing Bell" in the video clip posted here.