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Is Idorsia the new Actelion? On paper, the start-up could be mistaken for its little sister: same locations, same team, same founders... And for good reason: when Actelion was acquired by Johnson & Johnson, the acquirer abandoned around 10 molecules in development. The founder of Actelion, Jean-Paul Clozel, created Idorsia to transform these molecules into drugs. “It’s surprising that Johnson & Johnson didn’t want to take advantage of this pipeline,” said Jérôme Schupp, an independent analyst. “If the US group thought it was promising, it would have kept these molecules.”
So is Idorsia a risky bet? “Idorsia’s management team is exemplary. What other team can say they built a company like Actelion from scratch and then sold it for $30 billion?” said Bob Pooler of ValuationLAB. “Moreover, Idorsia is backed by the knowledge and experience of 600 scientists and a billion in assets.”
This becomes quite intriguing for investors. Sold at 10 Swiss francs at the time of the IPO in June 2017, the share price is now approximately 20 francs. But a word of caution: shares are highly speculative. “I recommend purchasing shares, but it’s risky,” said Pooler. Lorenzo Biasio from Credit Suisse disagrees: “We advise selling shares, as we believe that the market is overestimating its chances for success.” Intended to combat diverse pathologies such as hypertension, insomnia and epilepsy, the molecules developed by Idorsia are still in the early stages of development and far from being put on the market.