AbbVie And Johnson & Johnson Were In A Bidding War For Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Will Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Be The Next Target?

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In the new generation of hepatitis C treatment regimens, drugs called nucleotide analogs, or "nucs," are the golden ticket.

Gilead Sciences' blockbuster drug Sovaldi, which it acquired in its $11 billion purchase of Pharmasset, is a nuc. Idenix, which agreed to be acquired by Merck Monday for $3.9 billion—more than three-times its closing market value Friday—is developing a nuc. Bristol-Myers bought Inhibitex in 2012 for $2.5 billion for its nuc, only to unwind the program later as safety issues arose.

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