Compare and contrast. Here’s Allergan’s CEO, Brent Saunders, back in August on the value of R&D:
“The best way for us to participate in discovery is investing in a more ‘virtual’ sense, than actually building and running our own labs,” company Chief Executive Brent Saunders said in an interview after Allergan reported second-quarter results on Thursday. . .
“Discovery is where the industry has its lowest return on investment,” he said, “and not a good (use) of Allergan’s research dollars.”
Instead, he said Allergan will acquire products from companies that have already done the research spadework, and then itself develop the medicines and submit them for regulatory approvals.
And now here’s Allegan’s CEO, Brent Saunders, in November, on the value of R&D:
“I practice a very open minded management structure and learn new things all the time that change my opinion,” Saunders, 45, said in a phone interview with Reuters from an Allergan discovery lab. “For instance, when Actavis and Allergan merged, we didn’t have any discovery capabilities, but we assessed Allergan’s discovery capabilities in ophthalmology and aesthetic medicine and recognize they added a lot of value. . .”
And of course, you don’t have to go back much past that to find Saunders saying things like “The idea that to play in the big leagues you have to do drug discovery is really a fallacy”. Now that this attitude might be affecting the possible Allergan/Pfizer deal (and his position in it), things clearly have changed. What will Brent Saunders learn over the next couple of months? Who can say, given the current pace? Between this and the newfound love for R&D that Michael Pearson of Valeant has expressed, it’s clear that people are truly seeing the light. Or something.
I’ll also drop this in, since it’s not very often that I can predict the future. To be sure, I wasn’t the only one predicting this, but considering the current news stories, I find it interesting that back in January I said:
And if (Saunders) were to turn around and sell the combined Actavis/Allergan to, say, Pfizer, that would not be out of character in the slightest. It’s worth noting that the company’s tax domicile is Irish, in case that sort of thing interests Pfizer (or some other large US-based company) at all.